18 Jan 2021
Laptop donation brings lockdown learning online
More students will be able to continue their education online after the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility and True Potential purchased laptops and tablet devices for local schools in need.
More than 30 devices have been donated to primary schools and academies in Northumberland and Newcastle with many more to follow.
January’s COVID-19 lockdown means access to classroom learning is restricted for many students. The switch to home-learning has exposed a troubling digital divide – the gap in access to technology and internet services – that exists in communities across the country.
With some young people unable to access the internet or having to share technology with their siblings and parents, concerns have grown that some students will see their education suffer as a result.
The day after January’s lockdown was announced, the Harrison Foundation and its partner business, True Potential, which is based in Newcastle and employs 300 people, responded quickly by buying new laptops for schools. In addition the firm is offering a number of its unused and reconditioned laptops to schools.
True Potential’s Chief Executive, and Harrison Foundation trustee, Daniel Harrison, said:
“As a parent I know that school closures present many challenges to families, including juggling work with trying to teach children as well as access to enough devices so that the whole family can learn and work.
“As soon as we heard that the UK was going into another lockdown, I knew that once again there would be an urgent need for laptops and I was determined we would move quickly and do our bit to help. We contacted suppliers and bought new machines to be donated to local schools.
“We rely heavily on IT equipment and we constantly have to update our computers. That means that we often have spare laptops that can be reconditioned and put to good use. So I’m pleased we can also offer some of our own unused laptops.
“I really hope that these computers will enable young people to continue their education in these difficult circumstances.”
One of the schools that received a delivery of laptop computers from True Potential and the Harrison Foundation, is Adderlane Academy in Northumberland.
Head teacher, Emma Potts, said:
“The donation of laptops to the school has been incredible! As we again have been catapulted into a position where children are being asked to learn from home, there should be no point where a child cannot access their education because of a lack of resources in their home.
“This donation from True Potential and the Harrison Foundation will have such a positive impact on the children working at home.”
True Potential and the Harrison Foundation donated over £350,000 in 2020 to help manage the effects of COVID-19. Beneficiaries of the donations included hospices, care providers, homelessness organisations, youth services, health and well-being charities as well as schools.
True Potential also provided thousands of food parcels to vulnerable and isolated people across the UK through its national network of over 4,000 financial advisers.