October 4, 2021
Oxford City Council has provided a further 70 pre-owned laptops to help children in the city learn online, in addition to 50 donated to an Oxford school earlier in the year.
Things brings the total number of laptops donated so far to 120 since the pilot project in February. The City Council aims to donate 260 in total pre-used council laptops to Oxford children over the next three months.
The Getting Oxfordshire Online project, initiated by Oxfordshire Community Foundation, provides devices to those who can’t get online. A key area of focus is children from deprived families who need help with their online studies.
As part of the project, pre-owned laptops will also be donated to Afghan refugee families who have recently arrived in Oxford after fleeing their homes. They left almost everything they own behind when they left Afghanistan, getting online will be essential for them to establish their lives here: to find work, to deal with government admin, to access education and healthcare as well as keeping in touch with home.
Refurbishing the 260 laptops will also save 88.93 tonnes of carbon compared to buying new, which is equivalent to 19 cars driving for a year or planting 1,470 trees.
Councillor Shaista Aziz, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Communities, says: “These laptops are a lifeline for Oxford children. Oxford has areas of significant deprivation, with 10 neighbourhoods falling into the 20% most deprived in England. Lack of technology creates very unequal access to education for pupils from these backgrounds. These laptops give them the opportunities in life they deserve.
“We are very proud of this fantastic initiative. The getting Oxfordshire Online supports our communities with digital inclusion and new skills as well as helping the environment. If you have an unused laptop – whether you are in business, in education or a resident – you can be part of it!”
Rob Pavey, Head of Cheney School, says: “There is still a significant need to ensure all children have access to online learning; the pandemic isn’t over, and there is still disruption to lessons, which is likely to be with us for the foreseeable future. The refurbished laptops will help bridge the gap and ensure that disruption is minimised. The long-term benefit of getting a device into the hands of a child now will be felt for years to come.”
Adrian Sell, CEO, Oxfordshire Community Foundation, says: “Oxfordshire Community Foundation is delighted that Oxford City Council is donating used laptops to help local families and refugees. As well as helping people as schools return, the project will also reduce waste and help develop the skills of local people who are doing the refurbishment work. We encourage other local employers to donate so we can continue the important work of Getting Oxfordshire Online.”