'The final push' - Every Child Online campaign nears 6,000 laptops

Children need a laptop or tablet for homeschool.

The Every Child Online campaign has hit almost 5,000 laptops. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A campaign to help children in desperate need of a computer has neared its target.

Every Child Online, run by this newspaper alongside Norfolk Community Foundation and Norfolk County Council, was launched less than three weeks ago to help the 6,000 children in Norfolk who are currently unable to access online learning.

Latest figures show it has led to the delivery of 2,950 laptops and tablets and received donations worth £192,000.

An additional 1,700 laptops are also in stock ready to be delivered, leaving the campaign at 4,650,  just 1,350 devices away from its 6,000 target.

Kenny Newbegin, head of ICT solutions at Norfolk County Council, with a pile of laptops donated by car manufacturer Lotus.

Kenny Newbegin, head of ICT solutions at Norfolk County Council, with a pile of laptops donated by car manufacturer Lotus. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

The campaign is also working on more than 1,000 requests for internet access and the roll out of MiFi devices has begun.

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John Fisher, county council cabinet member for children’s services, said: “This is an incredible milestone in such a short space of time and I’m delighted that need has almost been met.

"The people of Norfolk have really stepped up to ensure that no child falls behind in their learning.

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“We are not over the finish line just yet though, there are dozens of devices required to meet demand, and some families that aren’t able to get online.

"I’m asking, once again, for businesses and organisations to check their stock to see if they have any surplus pre-used or brand new devices that could make a huge difference to a family.”

Simon Hipwell, Year 2 teacher at Diss Primary Academy, making a video of his lesson on the laptop fo

Simon Hipwell, Year 2 teacher at Diss Primary Academy completing online learning. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Claire Cullens, CEO of Norfolk Community Foundation, said: “It’s always great to see the people and businesses of Norfolk coming together to support each other.

"The fact that so many of the requests for help that Norfolk County Council has received from schools have already been fulfilled, is testament to the generosity of those in our community.

"It means that hundreds of children who didn’t have access to appropriate technology can now get on with online learning."

Those wishing to donate equipment should email devices@norfolk.gov.uk.

To donate funds click here.

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