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Unwanted laptops get a new lease of life helping deprived schoolchildren

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

adrianw@baylismedia.co.uk

A Marlow resident and a local business owner have teamed up to help school children in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire who might not have access to a working laptop.

Joanna Jong was originally concerned about the level of waste in the electronics industry – with new laptops being bought every couple of years, leaving functioning laptops to go to waste.

Hearing that there is a ‘digital divide’ with some children still without access to a laptop for remote learning, she decided to help tackle both problems in one.

“If two or three children in one household are in different online lessons, parents are having a nightmare trying to get everyone on devices at the same time,” said Joanne.

“We have so many people with new devices from Christmas and no longer need the old ones – I thought, why not put the two together?”

She began a drive to collect up unwanted laptops in decent condition that are fewer than six years old.

Brian Tibbels of Click Marlow agreed to patch up the laptops, replacing old batteries and making any upgrades needed to get the laptops fighting fit.

“Within three days we have had three laptops to collect, and now we’ve turned the first couple around, ready to go,” Joanne said.

“I’m really thrilled that this resonates with people and I think this model could work anywhere.”

Because it costs around £30-50 to do the basic upgrades on a laptop, Joanne has set up a Just Giving page to fund the fixes, so the cost is not borne by the person donating the laptop.

The page has generated £200 of its £1,000 target since it was set up a week ago.

Joanne is now approaching schools to facilitate passing the fixed-up laptops to those students in need of one.

Any school with students in need of a laptop, or those wishing to donate one, should email Joanne on jjong39@googlemail.com

The link to the Just Giving page can be found at: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/joanne-jong

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