Local business steps up to support local schools
15 Jul 2021
Children in the Hexham area have benefited from more laptops thanks to renewable energy company Vattenfall.
Demand for digital devices for children and young people has soared over the past year due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the need to learn virtually.
Vattenfall has teamed up with Northumberland County Council and Stone Computing to donate 81 refurbished laptops to schools local to Vattenfall’s Hexham office and a further 17 schools across Northumberland.
Jake Dunn, Business Manager at Vattenfall said: “In line with our ambition to enable fossil-free living within one generation, Vattenfall is committed to helping young people.”
“Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, access to the internet is essential to be able to learn from home. Children without access to laptops have sadly missed out on their education, so we are delighted to be able to help by providing these refurbished laptops.”
“Vattenfall has a strong connection to Northumberland through our Ray wind farm and our office at Hexham. I would like to thank Northumberland County Council; Stone Computing and our Hexham office staff for helping to make this happen.”
Northumberland County Council’s Education Team has been actively supporting schools to ensure they have enough devices for those children and young people identified as needing them, and that support continues.
The refurbished laptops also provide a sustainable solution by giving the computers a second life.
Councillor Guy Renner-Thompson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for children’s services, said: “We are really grateful for this donation of devices. It will mean more of our children and young people will have access to a device should they need to learn at home, or even when developing their computing knowledge in school.
“The continuation of learning is vitally important for our children and young people and it is imperative we continue to support our schools where we are able to. I am sure this will provide a huge relief to many families and the schools that are receiving them.”
This support forms part of a number of schemes the council has had in place to get devices to those children and young people in need. Over 3,300 devices have now been shared with children and young people across local authority-maintained schools, with an approximately an additional 1,500 through Northumberland’s academies.
A further 252 devices through the council’s own refurbishment programmes have also been used to support schools and pupils they identified in need.
Hexham First School is one of the schools that received the devices.
Justine Overton, Headteacher for Hexham First School, said: “We are extremely grateful to Vattenfall for their generous donation of refurbished laptops. They will help keep our pupils connected and continue to tackle the wide digital divide”