The Mail has launched a campaign to ensure all Britain’s schoolchildren are equipped with a laptop or computer tablet – so no child is prevented from learning during the lockdown.
With schools closed, up to a million pupils are struggling with accessing lessons from home because they don’t have essential equipment.
That is why our celebrated charity Mail Force – which gifted millions of items of PPE to the NHS last year – has launched a new fundraising drive called Mail Force’s Computers for Kids initiative.
Up to a million UK schoolchildren are struggling with lessons at home because they cannot work online. Now the Daily Mail is swinging into action for Mail Force – the celebrated charity that gifted PPE to the NHS. Pictured: Emily Lyons, 37, struggles to share her laptop between her four children on a daily basis for their online school classes
Mail Force will help companies recycle old computers for school use – and is set to help fund new laptops and tablets.
HOW TO DONATE TO COMPUTERS FOR KIDS
TO YOU, THE READER: How to send us donations
The Daily Mail has launched a brand new campaign, Computers For Kids, to raise money for Mail Force – a charity which aims to provide much needed school equipment and resources for pupils across the UK learning from home.
With schools closed, we are left with the dilemma of hundreds of thousands of pupils in the UK having no access to a computer in their home.
As part of this campaign, companies are donating their old laptops which, for around £15, can be wiped, professionally refurbished and made safe and fit for home schooling. They can then be delivered to a child or young person who needs one.
In addition, the campaign is looking to support children’s needs in other ways such as funding brand new laptops and tablets, and assisting with data access and connectivity for online learning. Any surplus funds will be used to support of the work of UK schools via other means.
TO MAKE A DONATION ONLINE
Visit mailforcecharity.co.uk/donate and follow the steps to complete your donation.
Please don’t send us your old device.
TO COMPANIES: Could you give your old laptops?
Upgrading office computers is something all companies do from time to time – and there has never been a better time to donate old laptops. If you are a company with 50 laptops or more that you could give, please visit www.computacenter.com/daily-mail to check they are suitable and register your donation. We will arrange for collection by our specialist partners Computacenter. Please note: we cannot accept donated laptops from individuals.
COMPANIES SHOULD GO TO: computacenter.com/daily-mail
TO SCHOOLS: Where to apply for the computers
Schools must apply to the Department for Education, which is managing the demand and prioritising the schools most in need. The Mail Force initiative means more laptops will become available more quickly.
SCHOOLS CAN APPLY HERE: https://get-help-with-tech.education.gov.uk
This newspaper is asking its famously generous readers to contribute whatever they can towards the costs.
About £15 could pay to refurbish a laptop for a child in danger of missing vital weeks of education.
We are not asking for readers to send in old laptops or devices to us. However, we are keen to hear from companies with 50 or more computer devices available for donation.
The new initiative was hailed by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, all the main teaching unions, and the Children’s Commissioner for England yesterday.
Robert Halfon, chairman of the Education Select Committee, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The deepening divide between the haves and have-nots has been exposed all too clearly by coronavirus. I salute the Mail for all they are doing.
‘Nothing can be more important than getting our children learning while the schools are closed.’
Unlike the first lockdown, schools are now mandated to provide three to five hours of lessons per pupil every day – yet lots of youngsters cannot access them because they don’t have laptops or tablet devices.
Ofcom estimated last year there were 1.78 million children in the UK without access to a device for online learning.
Since then, the Government has ordered 1.3 million laptops.
So far, 800,000 have been delivered, leaving almost one million children without a device. Mail Force aims to speed things up.
It is set to use our readers’ donations to help fund new kit and is appealing for firms willing to donate 50 or more of their old machines.
The charity’s expert partner, IT specialists Computacenter, will collect the machines for free, securely wipe content and install software to make them ready for a child to use.
Last year, Mail Force donated an incredible 42 million items of PPE to the NHS, care homes and charity sector front lines.
The campaign won a public service award and the Mail was hailed for holding the Government to account at the same time as helping to solve the problem.
As with the PPE crisis, Mail Force is resolutely working with the Government to get our hands on devices.
Families, head teachers, MPs and the teaching unions have been consulted.
There have been long and productive meetings with civil servants from the Department for Education, and with IT experts.
Brand-new laptops or tablets from household-name manufacturers will be funded – in a purchasing scheme running parallel to the Government’s one.
Companies’ old laptops will be repurposed to rescue a child’s education and help save the planet to boot.
The benefits for companies are clear: recycle old laptops, save the environment and help out a great charity for schoolchildren.
Mail Force is a registered charity established and supported by the Daily Mail and General Trust, which owns The Mail on Sunday and Daily Mail newspapers.
The money raised in this campaign will be used to get schoolchildren online. Laptops will be allocated to schools on a needs basis.
If more money is raised than needed for this mission, all extra funds will be applied in support of the work of UK schools in other ways.