APPEAL: Could you give a laptop to help educate a child in need?

Helen Brocklebank writes: There’s no Daily Practice today because I wanted to write to ask you if your brand might be able to donate computers – either new laptops or used ones in good condition – to pupils from vulnerable families.

For schools across the UK, teaching is now online through virtual classrooms, but there is, as one might imagine, a problem. Many children in vulnerable families live in areas of high poverty: they don’t have access to a laptop to access school’s learning programmes, and so are missing out on their education during the lockdown. I wondered if there were Walpole members who might be able to help.

United Way UK, an organisation that first came onto my radar through their work on children’s literacy with The Estée Lauder Companies UK & Irelands, is behind the initiative to get laptops to these disadvantaged school children so that they can have the same educational opportunities as their classmates.

Estée Lauder Companies UK & Ireland has already donated 10 laptops. United Way has identified the need for a further 95 laptops for primary school students across different cities in the UK, from Durham to Southampton. All donated computers will be delivered directly to schools who will set up the necessary software and get them to those children without a computer at home to ensure they do not fall further behind.

This crisis is hard on everyone, but it is particularly damaging to those living in poverty during the lockdown. It is tragic to think that a whole generation of school children could be left permanently disadvantaged by an inability to access education. If you have used laptops in your business that could be repurposed for primary school children, or if you could donate a new laptop, it will change a child’s life.

If you can help, please get in touch directly with Pilar Kusel, Head of External Affairs and Programmes at United Way UK on pilar.kusel@unitedway.org.uk
Freight Brokers, Walpole’s strategic partner, will collect any laptops from you and deliver to the charity free of charge. Walpole has 270 members –  95 laptops are needed – could we do it?

About United Way: As part of the United Way Worldwide network, United Way UK supports every person in every community to achieve the building blocks for a good life: quality education, financial stability, and good health. United Way UK works across the UK with many local charities and schools which are right now on the frontline of disadvantaged communities supporting vulnerable people in these challenging times. Their work is invaluable, though many times invisible.

If you are interested in learning about other needs of local charities and schools across the UK and would like to explore further opportunities to help during the crisis, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Pilar on the email above.