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Northumbria Police pledges 78 devices to Laptops for Kids campaign for those most in need

More than 2,500 laptops, tablets and computers have now been donated to help disadvantaged children learn during lockdown

L to R: Northumbria Police's Head of IT Ian Woodward, Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness and Rebuyer CEO Simon Howatson (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

Northumbria Police has donated 78 devices to a campaign helping North East kids who are struggling with their remote learning.

The force has followed in the footsteps of many others in supporting youngsters at this vital time after it emerged that around 55,000 families in the region don't have access to a laptop, tablet or computer.

ChronicleLive helped launch the Laptops for Kids campaign in January, aiming to close the digital divide among the region's disadvantaged youngsters.

And we have seen a "phenomenal" response by the public, businesses and organisations who have now donated 2,500 unwanted devices to families who need it most.

The latest kind-hearted donation has come from Northumbria Police which has pledged 62 tablets, 10 computers and six refurbished laptops to the cause.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness said: "Whether home-schooling or not, without access to technology many young people will fall behind with their learning.

"This is a fantastic campaign with ChronicleLive to fight the technology struggles faced by many families and reduce the number of 'have nots' in our region.

"We know technology can empower and motivate young people, by donating we hope to boost their learning and boost the future prospects of local school children who need our support."

Laptops for Kids is a campaign in conjunction with Northumbrian Water, the Northern Powerhouse Partnership and Sunderland-based IT firms Rebuyer and Code, bidding to make a real difference to those unable to attend school.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, some pupils have been sharing devices with their siblings or trying to do their work and live lessons on mobile phones rather than computers. Others are still reliant on paper worksheets.

Schools in England will reopen on Monday, March 8, and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson admitted that the pandemic has "impacted" the attainment gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils.

Sarah Mulholland, head of policy at the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said: "We want to say a huge thank you to Kim McGuinness and her team at Northumbria Police, as well as to everybody who has been able to support the Laptops for Kids campaign in the North East.


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