Leigh businesses supply £30,000 worth of laptops to local school children
As the nation prepared for its first lockdown at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, it was clear that some children were going to miss out on their education thanks to a lack of suitable IT equipment at home.
So several local businesses and charities rallied together to provide laptops to pupils.
The aim of the project, based at Leigh Works, was to enable children who didn’t have a laptop at home to continue to learn and see their school friends during what was to become a long period of time away from the classroom.
The organisations based at Leigh Works put into action a plan to refurbish old or unused laptops, get them up to standard and hand them out – for free – to schools.
The project – named Laptops for School Kids – is on track to provide over 100 laptops in the Leigh area alone. Donated laptops had the existing hard drive destroyed and replaced with a new SSD, then the computers were refurbished and cleaned before being sent to the pupils via their school. Staff then distributed the equipment to pupils who needed them.
Steven Tomlinson, co-founder of Leigh Works and director at software specialists Nemiah, helped to set up the project. He said: "There are lots of businesses here, most of them start-ups, and it was amazing to see everyone pulling together to help the local community.
"Being based in the town centre, having lots of space and specialist equipment put us in the ideal position to act as a central hub for the project. People could easily drop off donated laptops and we have the tools and expertise in-house to upgrade, fix and test them.
"I was blown away by the generosity of local businesses and residents, we had 100s of laptops donated and the businesses based here worked so hard to get them out to schools."
“Without this support it would not have been possible to fund this equipment ourselves...”
Deputy Headtecher of Christ Church CE Primary, Mrs Gornall said “The last 18 months have been extremely challenging for everyone, but especially for our children. They have had to cope with a lot of change and adapt to a different way of learning, online. The Laptops for Schools scheme provided us with a bank of laptops to send home to families during Lockdown. Without this support it would not have been possible to fund this equipment ourselves and as a school we are extremely grateful to them for all their help.”
Leigh Works is a co-working space in Leigh town centre aimed at tech companies and start-ups. They offer hot-desking, office rental, workshop access and support for small businesses. Leigh Works is the only co-working space in the borough. Find out more here: https://leigh.works/facilities