The Laptops for Children campaign launched by Peterborough City and Cambridgeshire County councils earlier this month is gathering pace, with the first deliveries being made this week. The partnership with the Youth Panel, Cambridge Digital Direct, Cambridge 2030 and the Cambridge Culture Foundation aims to purchase laptops and 4G routers for vulnerable young people who don't otherwise have Internet or laptop access.
Approximately 8,000 children in the region lack access to a computer or broadband, meaning they cannot access online lessons during the school closures. This puts them at risk of falling behind with their studies.
In just over two weeks, £567,845 has been raised with support from businesses, individuals and local authority funding. A first batch of 1,000 laptops and 460 routers have already been purchased from this and schools will receive first deliveries this week.
More than 350 laptops have been donated to drop-in centres and libraries across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, which will be checked and updated before being provided to schools.
The campaign continues to secure funding to ensure that every young person in the county has the right equipment to continue with their learning. The councils are writing to businesses and Chambers of Commerce for further support.
Councillor Lynne Ayres, Peterborough City Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, education, skills, and the university, said: "Cabinet has discussed the pressing need for laptops for disadvantaged children in our local schools - particularly primary schools. The education of every child is our priority and I am so grateful and proud of the support this worthy campaign has generated."
For more information on the campaign and to make a donation visit the GoFundMe.