More children in Sheffield to benefit thanks to laptop campaign donation boost

A campaign - which is hoping to prevent thousands of children in Sheffield from falling behind with their studies - has received its largest donation yet, from a health and wellbeing company.
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Westfield Health, based in Sheffield city centre, has donated a total of 70 used compact PCs towards the Laptops for Kids campaign.

The campaign, which was launched by The Star, WANdisco and Learn Sheffield in September, is becoming increasingly important as the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt schools across Sheffield.

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David Capper, chief executive of Westfield Health, said: “From schoolwork to supporting our mental wellbeing by keeping in touch with friends and family, having the right technology has been a key part of getting through lockdowns.

David Capper, chief executive of Westfield Health. Picture: Scott MerryleesDavid Capper, chief executive of Westfield Health. Picture: Scott Merrylees
David Capper, chief executive of Westfield Health. Picture: Scott Merrylees

"Not having access to a computer not only worsens inequality, it impacts wellbeing. That’s why we’re proud to be getting involved with such an important campaign.”

It is estimated that 11,000 young people in the city lack sufficient internet access, which is why the Laptops for Kids campaign is not only providing free devices but safe internet access also.

David Richards, founder and chief executive of WANdisco, added: “I am thrilled that Westfield Health is supporting our campaign with such a generous donation. This means that 70 more young people in Sheffield will be able to access the internet at home, helping to close the digital divide.

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"The Laptops for Kids campaign is gathering momentum and we look forward to more socially-minded organisations like Westfield Health joining our cause.”

Others who have donated to the campaign include global law firm DLA Piper, recruitment specialist Benchmark Recruit, local charities and a number of private individuals.

A taskforce of civic and business leaders are working together to help promote the campaign and develop its supply chain.

As well as laptops, the campaign is seeking tablets, desktops and chargers.

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Donors can securely erase devices themselves or the campaign can arrange for the certified secure erasure of devices with software donated by Blancco, a data security firm.

Learn Sheffield will coordinate the distribution of the devices to schools.

To make a donation, email [email protected] in the first instance - this is so WANdisco can track donations and correctly advise people of the next steps.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.