Residents and businesses who have spare IT kit are being encouraged to consider donating it to a council scheme to help Wirral’s children and young people keep learning at home.
With many pupils now needing to learn remotely due to the latest lockdown, not all children and young people have access to the right devices to allow them to continue their education.
Wirral Council has set up a device donation initiative – ‘Keep Kids Learning’ – to give businesses and residents the ability to donate any spare kit they may have, or make financial donations to help buy new devices for children in need.
This scheme follows the donation of council laptops that are not currently in use to schools and support from the authority to schools to ensure they were accessing all available IT from the Government.
Leader of Wirral Council, Cllr Janette Williamson said. “Wirral is a community that I’m immensely proud of, we pull together to help each those in need during difficult times. Due to the ongoing lockdown and many pupils needing to learn remotely, this is one of those times.”
There are strict criteria for the devices to be accepted. They must:
- Be in a good working condition.
- Have the relevant charger included.
- Have all personal details and files removed (you can restore to factory settings – advice on how to do this can be found on the National Security Cyber Security centre website.)
A dedicated drop-off hub has been set up at Cheshire Lines Building in Birkenhead, please follow the signs for Wirral Archive Service. This is appointment only, to ensure everyone’s safety. Please follow COVID guidelines when attending. Anyone wishing to donate a device, should book a date and time to drop off using the online form, from Monday 1 February.
People are also being encouraged to combine a drop-off with an essential journey, to minimise travel during lockdown.
Businesses who may be able to donate a number of devices, or anyone who would like to provide a financial contribution, should first email: email@example.com
Cllr Williamson said, “It is important we do all we can to help our children get the tools they need to continue learning.
“Not having the right technology to be able to learn away from school is really detrimental to those children who are already disadvantaged due to poverty and inequality and I don’t want to see any Wirral child get left behind.
“However, this is a widespread issue as many different families are also finding that they are struggling as remote learning continues – perhaps with limited Wi Fi access or having one device to cover several children’s schooling.”
Once a donation is received council staff will ensure everything is in working order and the relevant software is installed. Kit will then be passed to schools to share with those in need.
Cllr Wendy Clements, Chair of Wirral’s Children, Young People and Education Committee said, “I believe with the support of such a strong community we will be able to ensure children and young people have the equipment they need to continue their learning at home.
“Residents and businesses in our borough have already shown such generosity throughout this challenging time, always standing ready to go the extra mile for others. We would really like to encourage anyone who may have spare devices to consider donating them to help keep our children learning remotely.”
Anyone who may wish support the scheme but is unable to donate can share details of the initiative with family and friends, or through social media. Visit the council’s Facebook page for posts that can be shared.
If dropping off a device, please follow COVID-19 safety procedures, keep your distance, wear a face covering (unless you’re exempt) and sanitise your hands before and after you’ve been to the centre. If you or someone in your household are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms – a new continuous cough, high temperature or loss of sense of taste or smell – or are feeling unwell, please do not attend your appointment and reschedule.