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Fri 01 May 2020

Businesses asked for donations of home-schooling equipment

Cambs Youth Panel has received more than 450 applications from families, schools and agencies with more than 1000 young people who don’t have the appropriate hardware for adequate access to education. They really need the support of local businesses please.

There are several strands to an effective county wide response. On this basis they are trying to:

·         Give people the opportunity to share serviceable equipment that is no longer needed and could benefit a child. To give you an idea of the value of this – a simple keyboard and mouse costs approximately £10 to £15 for a very cheap set. A good one is far more. This really adds up. When you get people who donate old chromebooks and notebooks you make substantial gains. Every business out there has a cupboard with old keyboards, monitors, iPads (yes even iPads – Cambridge Youth Panel are working with a company that hopes to donate 25 devices this week, and 55 in total) – they need to scoop all this equipment up, quarantine it, test it and distribute it.

·         They need to make affordable computers available at cost, on a not for profit basis. Many families can afford a modest amount – just not the full price of a new laptop or Chromebook. That’s what the Raspberry Pi project is all about - £65 for a computer that will happily handle homework and plug into any TV.

·         Raising money for new equipment that we can lend to the most vulnerable. Cambridge Youth Panel has already raised enough to lend 95 new Chromebooks and Notebooks across the county. This is becoming more challenging because technology prices (particularly on laptop/notebook computers is spiralling because demand is high).

·         A reasonable and flexible infrastructure to support this – including inventory and distribution county wide. They have an excellent breadth of contacts across the South of the County – but aware that their network is far far weaker in Peterborough, Yaxley and the Fenland areas.

This isn’t just about throwing money at a solution – Cambs Youth Panel have already spent about £15,000 – but this isn’t about blank cheques. It’s about key stakeholders working together, utilising their resources with intelligence, and supporting each other.

For more information, please click here


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