Former Sheffield student raises £1,000 to help disadvantaged young people

A former Sheffield student dyed his beard pink and raised £1,000 for Laptops for Kids, helping disadvantaged young people in the region to access online learning resources at home.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 12:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 12:06 pm

Karan Salvi used to volunteer and teach at Tinsley Meadows Primary Academy school during his schooling in Sheffield where he developed an interest in helping disadvantaged students.

Despite the 19-year-old now studying medicine at the University of Cambridge, he wanted to continue doing his bit to help young people.

Karan said: “I was always aware of the educational gap between different income groups, but the pandemic has highlighted to me one of the reasons behind this - a lack of access to technology. During the pandemic, those without technology could not study nearly as efficiently as those with access to resources such as the internet and laptops at their fingertips. I also quickly realised that this inequality could continue beyond the pandemic with widespread adoption of virtual learning.

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Karan before dyeing his beard (left) and after dyeing his beard (right).

“In order to overcome educational inequality, access to education needs to be equal. To help this cause, I chose to raise money for the Laptop for Kids charity, who aim to make remote learning more easily available for students from disadvantaged backgrounds in South Yorkshire.

“I decided that I’d dye my lockdown beard, and to encourage people to donate. I made a spreadsheet, allowing those donating to choose the colour of the beard (no surprise it ended up pink!). Many of my friends and even strangers donated, with the ultimate total raised for the Laptop for Kids charity being £1,000. So to everyone who donated, I just want to say a big thanks!”

The Laptops for Kids campaign was launched in Sheffield by The Star, WANdisco and Learn Sheffield in September 2020.

Businesses and individuals have made both laptop donations and financial donations, which have contributed to preventing thousands of young people from falling further behind with their education.

Karan Salvi, a former Sheffield student.

Laptops for Kids is now scaling up across the North and has launched in Doncaster, Rotherham and Newcastle, with more locations to follow.

Devices are distributed in partnership with local authorities who are working closely with primary and secondary schools to understand the level of need in their communities.

For more information or to make a donation, visit:

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Karan with his pink beard (first most popular choice) and blue moustache (second most popular choice).