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Local radio providers launch laptop donation drives

Posted on: January 12, 2021 by Mariella Brown

BBC local radio stations have relaunched a campaign to help provide access to laptops for children and young people in need as schools return to online learning once more.

With an estimated one in 10 children having no access to a device across the UK and with old devices likely to be discarded after Christmas, all 39 BBC local radio stations are encouraging the public to donate their unwanted items to help pupils who are still in need of a digital device.

The Make a Difference: Give a Laptop campaign will connect listeners to specialist charities across the country that will safely wipe donated devices before distributing them to local schools.

Chris Burns, Head of BBC Local Radio said, “Everyone has a right to education and it has never been more important for all children to have access to the same opportunities. Throughout the pandemic our listeners have shown time and again just how big an impact we can all make, and by coming together once more to donate unwanted laptops, tablets and devices we will be able to help many more schools and families in need.”

In addition, regional newspapers have been at the forefront of campaigns to ensure children have the right tech to continue learning remotely.

More than 200 devices were donated within 24 hours of a ‘Laptop for Kids’ campaign supported by Newcastle daily The Chronicle last week.

At JPI Media, Sheffield-based daily The Star backed the ‘Laptops for Kids’ campaign throughout last year to tackle the digital divide by urging readers and local businesses to donate unwanted laptops to be offered to young people.

The Star also delivered over 10,000 free copies of its paper and ‘Learning Together’ educational supplement during the first lockdown to support home-learning for children who lacked services such as reliable internet.

Find out more about the Laptop for Kids scheme here: https://www.ltfk.co.uk/