Local pub company and brewer, Greene King, has donated 110 laptops to schools in the region a bid to support children homeschooling during lockdown.
Recognising the challenges some families face without a device for homeschooling, Greene King reached out to the Unity Schools Partnership, which has schools across Suffolk to distribute to those most in need.
Karrie Baugh, group service delivery IT manager at Greene King, said: “Lockdown is really tough on everyone, but it’s particularly hard for those who are homeschooling without the right equipment. We’re keen to support our local community in Suffolk and are really pleased we’ve been able to donate 110 laptops to those most in need.
“Schools and teachers are doing an amazing job with remote learning, so we hope this will go a little way to make it a bit easier for some of their students during lockdown.”
Vicky Neale, headteacher for County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds, said: “We are delighted to be the first of many schools within the Unity Schools Partnership to benefit from this generous donation.
“We have many families who either require a laptop because they don’t have one in the household or because they are having to share with parents who are working from home. Either way, this will make a big difference to how they can access their remote education.”
Tim Coulson, chief executive of Unity Schools Partnership, said: “Ensuring all students have access to digital devices for their home schooling is a challenge across the country. All our schools have worked considerably hard over the last couple of weeks to address this issue.
“A donation of this size will make a massive difference to students across our 30 schools and we would like to say a heartfelt thanks to Greene King for thinking of our students in this way.”
The sizeable donation, worth nearly £25,000, follows Greene King updating many of its devices before the onset of the Covid-crisis. Its IT team has overhauled each laptop, fitted new memory and wiped all data to meet the specification required by schools.
Schools to benefit locally include those based in Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill, Newmarket, Sudbury and Ipswich.