The National Grid has donated 1,000 personal laptop devices to support students through home learning across the UK.
The restored devices are worth over £200,000, and are set to be distributed in partnership with five UK charities who hope the laptops will be used to bolster academic progress and skills development through the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown. Eight hundred devices are being distributed across the nation’s primary and secondary schools, with the remainder being donated to The Prince’s Trust.
“COVID-19 has made life harder for young people who are already facing multiple barriers,” said Ian Jeffers, deputy CEO of The Prince’s Trust.
“The laptops from National Grid, along with connectivity packages, will make a significant difference to what our young people can achieve in the coming weeks and months and will be a key way for our network of volunteer mentors and youth workers to stay connected with young people during lockdown.”
Students of Cambois Primary School in Blyth, Northumberland, have already benefitted from a donation of 50 laptops. Delivered alongside ‘Griddles’ the teddy bear, the laptops will allow students to keep in touch with their teachers throughout this period of school closures. The devices will be returned to the school for continued use once the lockdown ends.
“Even as thousands of primary schools prepare for the potential re-opening next month, there can be no doubt that many children will be feeling the effects of time away from the classroom and either having to compete with other family members for access to technology or having nothing at all,” said Jeremy Cohen, head of responsible business at National Grid.
“We’re delighted therefore to be working with these charities, which are playing an essential role in supporting schools and young people at this challenging time.”
On top of this, National Grid has contributed £500,ooo to the National Emergencies Trust and the Trussell Trust, as well as encouraging colleagues to volunteer for half a day each week to support their local communities.