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Daily launches bid to secure laptops for ‘have-nots’ of patch

A regional daily is urging readers to donate computers so disadvantaged children from its patch can learn at home.

Sheffield daily The Star is aiming to bridge a “digital divide” which means children who are most in need cannot study away from school.

The Star has joined forces with data software firm WANdisco and not for profit company Learn Sheffield for the ‘Laptops for Kids’ drive.

The campaign’s launch, on which The Star splashed yesterday, comes after the newspaper distributed weekly educational supplements to 5,000 children during the coronavirus lockdown.

Star laptops

Announcing the new campaign’s launch, editor Nancy Fielder wrote: “There are always the haves and the have-nots in any city but this pandemic has made that more acutely obvious than ever.

“It is all very well encouraging young people to do their school work at home but it isn’t that easy for most.

“There are all sorts of issues that can get in the way but some are very basic and should be easily sorted.

“You can’t join online classes and you can’t download your homework if you don’t have a laptop or reliable internet.

“I wouldn’t blame you for wondering why on earth anyone in England’s fourth biggest city has insufficient online connectivity – regardless of where they live or what they earn – but this is where we find ourselves in 2020.”

Nancy went on to urge businesses to donate their old, unwanted laptops.

She added: “Times change and we must help the younger generation keep up, regardless of their background.

“It is inevitable that more school bubbles will be sent home as more cases are confirmed but even in the best of times access to education should be unlimited.

“This is a perfect way for Sheffield firms to help create a better workforce of the future.”