School children in need of computer equipment for learning at home during lockdown will benefit from a life-changing donation by Arden University.

Following the news of the latest national Covid-19 lockdown and school closures, schools across the country have been in need of laptops for disadvantaged school children as their learning turns online. 

After being inspired by the BBC ‘Make a Difference’ campaign, Arden University has stepped in to help with a donation of 50 new laptops that will be distributed to those in need across Birmingham, Manchester and London – the three cities where the university’s own study centres are located.

The BBC has set up a system that can link up donations with organisations across the UK. These local charities and organisations will then take both new and old computing equipment, refurbish where necessary and send on to schools for disadvantaged children. 

Ofcom estimates up to 1.78 million children in the UK have no home access to a laptop, desktop computer or tablet, leaving a three-month learning gap between children who do and don’t have access. 

Arden University is also encouraging its staff to donate any old or unused computers and laptops they have that can be reconfigured and used.  

Professor Carl Lygo, Arden University’s Vice-Chancellor and CEO, said: “Arden University wholeheartedly believes everyone, everywhere should be able to learn, whatever their circumstances, and as such we’re donating 50 laptops to the ‘Make a Difference’ campaign.

“It is a fantastic initiative and if we, and others can pull together, we can help to reduce digital poverty for the most vulnerable pupils during these unprecedented times. Here at Arden University our ambition is to make Higher Education more accessible, engaging and beneficial to people everywhere, and we strongly believe those in all education settings deserve the same.” 

The university’s Covid secure study centres in Birmingham, London and Manchester re-opened to staff and students in September and remained open for private study and support sessions during the second UK national lockdown. They will re-open again as soon as Government guidance changes.

To find out more about the BBC ‘Make a Difference’ campaign visit:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/5SqHJMTKZx5sYhlltXJvB1Q/give-a-laptop 

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