Appeal goes out across the Banbury area for used or unwanted laptops so no children are left out of good home-schooling

A Banbury area appeal has been set up for unwanted laptops or tablets that can be used to ensure no child goes without full opportunity for home-schooling.

Tuesday, 19th January 2021, 3:33 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th January 2021, 3:35 pm
Becky Robertson and her daughter Eloise, left, and Nicky Levitt - organisers of the Hook Norton Laptop Appeal

The project's Hook Norton coordinator, Becky Robertson, has asked other villages to set up their own collections so the devices can be cleared, reconditioned and redistributed to needy schoolchildren by The Mix, a sustainability project in Wantage. Any data left on the machines will be erased.

"What we would really like is for people to collect these devices in their own village or town and then either we can collect them from there, or better still, they could and take them to the Mix in Wantage themselves," said Mrs Robertson.

"It was a really simple thing to set up. There just needs to be a central point to collect them and for the appeal to be advertised on social media."

Mrs Robertson' daughter, Eloise, 16, was interviewed on BBC Radio Oxford's breakfast show last week.

On the programme she said: "From my own experience I've seen that home learning requires robust technology. I just wouldn't be able to access my lessons without the technology I have.

"I think it's been very easy for people to underestimate the impact on children and young people that not having devices for home-learning is having."

It is thought that up to 600,000 teenagers are still without the digital support they need for online lessons.

In Hook Norton, the laptops are being dropped off at The Village Shop. Mrs Robertson and her co-organiser Nicky Levitt are keen to encourage other communities to seek out unwanted tablets and laptops to help the Oxfordshire scheme.

Those interested can contact the Hook Norton team by emailing [email protected] and asking for a poster giving more details of how to prepare iPads for transfer to the project.