Barnet Council donates 260 laptops to school children and residents in need
In March 2019, 260 of Barnet Council’s staff laptops were donated among the borough’s schools and community organisations to those in need. The laptops, which were no longer suitable for council work but are still good for studying, would have otherwise been headed for the recycling bin.
Barnet Council worked with Barnet Education and Learning Service as well as voluntary and community sector partners to identify schools and community organisations to distribute the laptops to.
The team at Capita, who provide the Council’s internal IT support services, wiped clear and refurbished over 200 of the Council’s laptops in under a month. The laptops were given a new lease of life by helping some of the borough’s most digitally excluded residents to stay connected.
John Hooton, CEO of Barnet Council, said: “The ability to access digital devices is incredibly important – now more than ever. The barriers faced by digitally excluded residents have been made all the more apparent this past year, as we have all relied more and more on digital means to access services, home learning, training, and even staying connected with friends and family through a screen.
"We have been working hard on this initiative with our Education team, our local voluntary sector providers and our IT service, and I am very grateful for everyone’s hard work. Through the work to upcycle instead of recycle our corporate laptops, we are able to tackle digital exclusion in our borough and provide access to learning, training and connections that have previously been unattainable for some of our residents.”
Kirstie Barrett, Head Teacher, Coppetts Wood Primary School and Children’s Centre, said: “I’m delighted that we were selected to take part in this scheme as it will make an important positive difference to the lives of some of our children and their families. We’ve been able to identify our pupils with the greatest need, and are excited to see the benefit these laptops will make to their education and development.”
Bryan Webb, IT Director, Capita Local Public Services, said: “We hope that these laptops can help reduce digital poverty within Barnet and enable many children, adults and families to get connected during these unprecedented times.”
The Council is continuing this scheme, diverting staff laptops from the recycling bin and distributing them throughout the borough to keep Barnet connected.