Lee Anson started ‘Wirral Laptop Donations’ with a simple philosophy. He is a true believer in making sure that children have the best childhood, including their education. “This should be of the utmost importance for every child to give them the best start in life.”, he said.
Wirral-born Lee joined the Army, Royal Corps of Signals, in 2007 and served for seven years including two tours of Afghanistan. In 2014, when his army career came to an end, he started work as a computer engineer.
In his spare time, he also coached at Cheshire Vikings JFC which was a driving force in me starting his current project, along with his partner Stephanie Duncan, who helps out with admin and social media.
Lee said, “We have had some volunteers helping out with collections since the start of this week as it just became to much for the two of us to cope with.”
Things have got so busy for Lee and Stephanie that their good friend Craig Ireland has started helping with repairing laptops so that they can get them into the hands of the children that need them more quickly.
birkenhead.news asked Lee what gave him the idea to start Wirral Laptop Donations. He said, “I was watching BBC news two weeks ago today and was listening to the interviews with the parents who had no devices for homeschooling.
“I didn’t feel that what the government was doing to help was good enough for the children who are now missing out on education for the second year.
“This made me very frustrated and I started thinking how I could do my bit.”
Lee is indebted to the generosity of local people, saying that if it wasn’t for the kind-hearted Wirral residents, he would not have been able to get the project up-and-running. “I am just the tool to get he devices working! Without the devices being donated in the first place I couldn’t help anyone, so most of the credit belongs to the people who have kindly donated.”, he said.
Wirral residents have so far donated 105 devices to 21 schools throughout the borough. One of the schools that Wirral Laptop Donations has helped is St. George’s Primary in Wallasey. Headteacher, Mr Cassidy, said, “Our school serves around 850 children. We have served our community for many years in this location.
“We have provided more than 80 computers to the children and families most at need during this difficult time. Lee, from ‘Wirral Laptop Donations’, has helped us to provide hardware for our children to access their online learning.
“Being able to provide many children with the tools to access online learning is invaluable. With every breath of our being, we will support our local community. Thank you Lee for your support.”
Some devices that are donated are in perfect condition and just need to be fully wiped to remove any data and then have the operating system reinstalled then they are ready to go straight out.
Others have come in with various faults, broken screens or faulty hard drives. These devices require repairs then they get fully wiped and the operating system reinstalled and they are then also good to go.
Lee said that if anyone would like to donate a device they can get in touch via their Facebook page. “We can then arrange a drop-off point or if they cannot get out for any reason arrange collection. I am taking any device regardless of age as even if that device is too old or too broken I may be able to use parts from that one to get another working.”, he said.
Lee says that the response from schools has been fantastic and that they have been so grateful. Katy Bird, Headteacher at Leasowe Primary School, said “I cannot thank Lee and his team enough for the work they are doing.
“Not only have my Leasowe Pupils hugely benefited from the generous donations of laptops and tablets, but children and families from all areas across the Wirral have been gifted much-needed devices too.
“Staff are now able to contact children and families with ease, deliver remote teaching to ALL children, continue to offer family support to those who require it and most importantly carry out much-needed safeguarding and welfare checks.
“To be able to deliver devices to children who would have missed out on huge episodes of learning is truly inspiring. I think I can speak on behalf of all Wirral educators when I say, we are humbled by such generosity and selfless kindness. Thank you Lee!”
Summing up, Lee told us that it is amazing to have helped 100 families with their homeschooling. “I had an initial goal of 50 when I first started not expecting the response that we received, so to hit 100 is amazing. I just want to help as many families as I possibly can.”
Birkenhead.news asked Lee if he’d be up for another interview when he hits 1,000 donated devices, “Haha! Good target!! Yes, absolutely!”, he responded.
If you would like to donate a laptop, tablet or similar device, no matter what the condition, please get in touch with Lee, Stephanie, and the team via their Facebook page. All donations, whatever the condition, are warmly welcomed.