Asda Middleton Community Champion Rachel Cunningham arranged a surprise delivery of ten laptops to Rodillian Academy as part of the supermarket’s initiative to provide over 7,000 laptops to schools across the UK to help tackle digital exclusion.
Whilst children are now returning to the classrooms, there is still a need for technology to support education activities inside the classroom, homework tasks, learning during the school holidays and to help schools future proof their home learning capabilities.
The supermarket recently formed a partnership with technology provider Dell to invest over £2 million so that every Asda store in the UK, including Asda (name) could donate at least 10 laptops to a school in need in their local community.
The Asda Store on Holme Well Road, Middleton LS10 nominated nearby school Rodillian Academy who have a proportion of families struggling to access technology. Rachel Cunningham arranged for delivery of 10 laptops, each of which comes with a tech bundle to support ongoing home learning activities.
Asda launched this initiative to support schools in its communities that are struggling with digital exclusion. According to Ofcom, around 9% of children in the UK – between 1.1 million and 1.8 million – do not have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home. These children are primarily from disadvantaged backgrounds and at risk of falling further behind with their education.
Each laptop comes with a tech bundle that includes a headset and a mobile internet dongle with a data allowance of 20gb from Asda’s network partner Vodafone. The dongle and data allowance has been funded by a separate £500,000 contribution from the retailer’s charity arm, The Asda Foundation. Laptops will also include a one-year warranty and technical support.
Each school will manage the distribution to priority pupils, and Asda’s in-house IT support team will also provide support to any school that needs help to set up the equipment.
Asda Middleton Community Champion Rachel Cunningham, said:
“I’ve a really close relationship with Rodillian Academy and I know what a massive difference this donation of laptops is going to make to the school. I’m proud that Asda can help to play a small part in helping to break down the digital barriers so they can children can continue their education remotely both now and in the future.”
David Paul (Head of Year 10) at Rodillian Academy said:
“It was such a surprise and we can’t thank Asda enough for choosing our school to receive these laptops, this donation will go a long way in helping children gain access to the technology and data packages that will help to break down some of the digital barriers that exist.”
Asda and Dell Technologies provided the school with brand new laptops built with best-in-class durability that makes them ideal for young learners. The education devices are used by schools, colleges and universities across the UK and its products are designed to support learning, whether that is in the classroom or in a virtual environment. The tech bundle provided by the Asda Foundation is an extension of their support of schools with this important education initiative.
During the Autumn 2020 term, the Asda Foundation awarded more than half a million pounds to hundreds of schools to ensure children could get back into the classroom. This included providing grants for everything from stationery to school uniform banks, breakfast clubs and more, to ensure no child felt excluded due to financial limitations. With the move to home learning set to continue this support will go some way to meet the increasing need for access to devices and data.
This post is based on a press release issued by Asda
Photo (L-R): Rachel Cunningham (Asda), Sophie Sadler, Max Garnet (both Year 7), David Paul (Head of Year 10, Rodillian Academy)