Hart District Council has provided over a hundred desktops and laptops that will shortly be heading their way to support local pupils and schools, thanks to an initiative run by the Lions Organisation.
The Lions IT refurbishment project aims to give every child access to IT when working from home. The project started early last year with requests for just a handful of computers per month, but the onset of COVID-19 changed this, and demand soon began to outstrip supply.
The closure of schools and introduction of home schooling for most pupils since Christmas has exacerbated the problem, with requests now averaging almost 200 per month. So, the Lions launched an appeal for further equipment and Hart District Council was delighted to respond.
The first batch of 23 laptops was handed over last week and further deliveries of desktops and laptops are planned in the foreseeable future. A team of willing volunteers carry out thorough data cleansing of any donated equipment and, if necessary, will even remove hard drives on site. The team installs Windows 10, Libra Office and selected educational apps used by Hampshire and Surrey Schools to every computer before supplying them to local schools.
To ensure the equipment goes to the most needy, all requests must be made via a schools’ referral process.
Commenting on the project Cllr Stuart Bailey, Cabinet Member for Community at Hart District Council, said: “I am delighted that we were able to support this valuable community initiative by donating surplus equipment. This has been a particularly difficult time for families having to home school their children. We were satisfied that a robust data cleansing process was in place and the whole process was very easy. We would urge anyone who has surplus laptops (installed with Windows 7 or above), to consider donating to this scheme.”
Graham Drayton, spokesman for the Lions IT scheme added: “This project has literally snowballed since its inception and we recently handed over our thousandth laptop. We will continue to support this scheme for as long as the demand is there, so please do contact us if you would like to be involved. Any help in the form of additional laptops or financial support to pay for spare batteries, power supplies, hard drives etc. would also be gratefully received.”
- Since the start of the first lockdown in March 2020 Lions clubs based in North East Hampshire, together with Farnham Lions, have supplied in excess of 1,000 computers to local families in Hart, Rushmoor and Waverley.
- The IT Team represents the Lions Clubs of Hook& Odiham, Yateley, Hart, Fleet, Farnborough and Aldershot.
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