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Christmas appeal for laptops and tablet devices to help pupils and schools affected by Covid-19

by Sarah Turner | Dec 22, 2020

As we approach Christmas, the time of year for generosity and giving, local children’s charity Dreamdrops has partnered with local businesses to launch an appeal to help schools and their pupils.

The Huntingdonshire based partnership is appealing to residents and local companies for donations of used laptops and tablet devices (such as iPads) which could be refurbished and donated to schools, to help pupils continue their studies away from the classroom. The appeal begins this week and will continue into 2021.

Dreamdrops, the Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust charity, has joined forces with i-dash, a leading Technology Solutions provider based in Eaton Socon, St Neots. i-dash have kindly offered to wipe, refurbish and prepare the machines ready for reuse. The devices will then be PAT tested by Cambs-PAT UK Ltd – a local company based in Eaton Socon, before being handed over to local schools across the county, so they can be distributed to pupils who need them.

The aim is to collect at least 250 redundant laptops and tablets. Such an ambitious project across a large area cannot be achieved without additional help and local public support. The partners are delighted to also be working with the Riverport Women’s Institute, based in St Ives and local Community Support Groups which were set up at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to help people living in their local areas.

Anyone willing to donate a laptop or tablet is kindly requested to carry out the following beforehand:

  1. Back up your data and reset the device to 'factory settings'. If you donate a device that has not been reset you will not be able to retrieve your data once the machine has been handed over and all information will be wiped clean in a secure and safe manner.
  2. Wipe the device over with a cold damp cloth that has antibacterial spray on it.
  3. Ensure any appropriate cables and leads are also donated.
  4. Place the device/s in a plastic bag for either collection or delivery.

Please note instructions for resetting your device to factory settings can be found on Dreamdrops’ website: www.dreamdropschildrenscharity.org/donating-your-device/

If you would like to support this initiative, please contact one of our Associate Partners in your local area:

Huntingdon:  Huntingdonshire Community Group.  Email:  huntingdonshirecommunitygroup@gmail.com

Ramsey: Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust.  Email: anna@ramseyneighbourhoodstrust.org

St Ives:  Riverport W.I.  Email: riverportwi@btinternet.com

St Neots:  St. Neots Community Support.   Tel:  03333 355344

Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of Dreamdrops, said: “We are thrilled to be working on this essential project with i-dash, and are delighted with the wonderful response from our associate partners across Huntingdonshire who are all kindly willing to help ensure the success of the project. 

“It is far too big a task for any individual organisation to manage on its own but, by pulling together, we can make it work. Helping schools to keep their pupils learning is a great cause, and I hope that people who may be upgrading their laptop or tablet over Christmas, or who have older machines still sitting in a cupboard somewhere, will be willing to donate them.”

Mick Marks MBE, Managing Director of i-dash Limited, said: “As a technology solutions provider, i-dash understands the need to be connected during these challenging times. As a supporter of local causes and schools in particular, we understand some of the challenges that are faced in our local community. When we were approached by Dreamdrops it was a yes before the conversation had even started!”

For further information on how you can help raise funds for Dreamdrops please visit www.dreamdropschildrenscharity.org/ or email dreamdrops.dreamdrops@nhs.net.

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