More than 70 refurbished laptops have been gifted to school children and young people in Wiltshire to help with their home schooling during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since the initiative was announced at the beginning of May, Westbury-based Priority IT has given laptops and tablets to schools, children’s services and families, to help students continue learning at home.
Staff at the IT support company, who are currently furloughed, have been volunteering their time to securely wipe data, refurbish and replenish the machines.
Kieran Thomas, managing director at Priority IT, said, “The response from the local community, and further afield, has been amazing. A kind person in Lechlade on Thames heard about our idea and really wanted to donate his laptop. He was happy to meet us halfway and after arranging a drop off spot in Wootton Bassett, and a 65-mile round trip, we now have another laptop ready to go to its new home. We also have another laptop being couriered in from Taunton!
“Myself, Tim and Peter have been in the office working on the donated laptops and tablets so we can fulfill the demand. Unfortunately, we have now run out of machines to fix and we still have outstanding requests. We are putting out the plea again to individuals and businesses to have another look for old laptops to see if we can help even more families.”
So far requests from Dilton Marsh C of E Primary School, Melksham Oak Community School, Holbrook Primary School, John of Gaunt Secondary School, Staverton Church of England Primary School, Kingsbury Green Academy, Calne, Wiltshire Council Children’s Services and Social Services, The Wiltshire Parent Carer Council and individual emails, have been filled.
Any donations can be either dropped off at the Priority IT office on Hawke Ridge Business Park, or a member of the team has been going out once a week to drive round and collect machines from those people who cannot get to them.
Any laptops donated must switch on, have a working screen and keyboard. If a laptop cannot be upgraded, it will be securely wiped and recycled. Anyone wishing to contact the company to donate a laptop should email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured above: Laptop recipient, Alanna (who attends The Clarendon Academy) and her younger sister Charli-Jade (who attends Newtown Community Primary School)