Leeds-based financial services firm Hitachi Capital have delivered their first 42 machines to Leeds Tech Angels, the campaign to provide laptops to children and young people in some of the city’s most digitally excluded neighbourhoods.
The machines, which were due to be recycled after refurbishment, were instead donated to Tech Angels after their disk drives were removed and disposed of securely, with Hitachi Capital providing funding for replacement disk drives.
Theresa Lindsay, Group Head of Marketing, Hitachi Capital UK PLC said: “We’re really pleased to work with Tech Angels to ensure that the laptops we’re donating will go to children in Leeds who really need the equipment to continue their education.
“It’s easy to forget there’s such a digital divide in our communities and I’d encourage all businesses in the region to look at what kit you have spare and talk to the charity about donating.
“Every laptop really does count and can make a huge difference to a child’s life.”
This sentiment was echoed by Ben McKenna who is coordinating the Leeds Tech Angels campaign.
He said: “These machines will be hugely useful to pupils across Leeds struggling to catch up with their schoolwork after spending the best part of a year in lockdown.
“We would like to thank Hitachi Capital as well as all of our other donors for helping to give these young people a chance to realise their potential.
“If any other businesses have spare kit, we can ensure this is safely recycled and put into the hands of schoolchildren in need.”
The campaign to find Leeds Tech Angels is being led by a recently established group, Digital Access West Yorkshire, with funding from Leeds Community Foundation and support from Ahead Partnership, Leeds City Council and Zero Waste Leeds.
The digital divide has been exacerbated by coronavirus with many school children lacking the means to join online lessons.