02 Feb Webmart partners with Laptops for Kids in Barnsley
Webmart partners with Laptops for Kids in Barnsley
Webmart has partnered up with Sheffield-based initiative Laptops for Kids (LTFK) to roll out the project in Barnsley, the home of our northern office.
At the start of the first lockdown back in March of 2020, Webmart decided that rather than let all of our old or unused laptops sit in a cupboard indefinitely, we would repurpose them. We donated them to local schools in Barnsley, hoping they would help kids from disadvantaged households as they began their schooling remotely. For it, we were mentioned in Forbes (which we are still talking about!).
After seeing what a difference Webmart made with a small number of devices, we knew that we wanted to do it on a larger scale. So, when we heard about the exciting LTFK initiative doing just that in Sheffield, we decided to partner with them.
Headed by our chief Webmarteer Simon, we’ve organised the Barnsley branch of the LTFK initiative and are working alongside other key local Barnsley organisations to repurpose laptops on a larger scale.
We are receiving donations of old or unused tech from all over, erasing the data and then distributing the tech to schools in the area. From there, the devices are passed onto the children and young people who need it most.
It’s safe to say the circumstances are already really challenging for all kids and their families doing homeschooling – it’s something we’ve seen first-hand with our Webmarteer parents. But for so many disadvantaged kids, there is the added difficulty of either struggling to or totally unable to access their online schoolwork because of the digital divide.
Worrying statistics suggest that around 9% of young people and children in the UK don’t have access to a computer, with many more sharing devices with siblings. Where the digital divide was an issue before, the COVID-19 pandemic has only made the problem worse.
As Bilty says: “A donation of a device really is a life-long gift. For a struggling child or young person, access to a laptop or tablet helps them to get the education they need, not only benefitting in the short-term but for years to come. It offers a life-long leg up, which they wouldn’t have without.”
Alongside LTFK, Webmart aims to provide laptops for as many kids in Barnsley who need them, whilst helping to roll out the brilliant initiative nationwide.
Webmart needs you
The Barnsley LTFK needs donations of unused tech which we can repurpose, ideally from organisations willing to drop off/mail to Barnsley. Alternatively, the initiative has a gofundme page, raising funds to either refurbish donations or purchase laptops.