Publisher Pearson donates cash and 250 laptops to Mail Force drive

Publisher’s £50k gift for pupils: Pearson donates cash and 250 laptops to Mail Force drive… and pledges more on the way

  • Published Pearson has pledged to add more laptops to the Daily Mail campaign 
  • Mail Force is buying new laptops and refurbished ones donated by companies
  • Among the most recent recipients in the campaign is 12-year-old Eva Wielgosz

Leading publisher Pearson has backed Mail Force with a fantastic double donation.

The company is offering 250 laptops and £50,000 cash on top. Both donations will go straight into the campaign to get lockdown schoolchildren online.

Pearson, which publishes everything from pupils’ textbooks to educational resources for teachers and companies, pledged to add more laptops at a later date.

The firm employs more than 22,000 in 70 countries and is the latest corporation to back the Daily Mail’s Computers for Kids campaign, which has now raised an incredible £10.7million in the three weeks since it launched.

Andy Bird, chief executive of Pearson, said: ‘We are proud to support the campaign to provide laptops to children most in need across the UK.

Mail Force has been crisscrossing Britain making deliveries of laptops to schools. Among the most recent recipients is 12-year-old Eva Wielgosz (pictured)

‘Every child should be able to continue learning throughout this lockdown, and technology plays an increasingly vital role in achieving this with most learning now taking place virtually at home.’

He added: ‘We need to act quickly to ensure no one is missing out. We are determined to play our part in ensuring that the most vulnerable children have the tools they need to succeed and to ensure they are not unfairly disadvantaged.’

Mail Force, a charity set up last year to help tackle the PPE shortages, is buying new laptops and also refurbishing used ones donated by companies.

Generous readers have sent in an extraordinary £1.6million, and every penny is spent on helping children get online, by giving schools computers or assisting with data deals so they can access internet lessons. 

Companies large and small have flocked to the cause. London advertising company AKQA has kindly sent in £2,000.

Chief executive Ajaz Ahmed said: ‘As the world’s fifth-largest economy, we have a responsibility to ensure disadvantaged children are equipped with the necessary resources to continue their education, access opportunities and enable digital literacy to help shape a better future.’

Eva’s mother Justyna (pictured together), who works in retail, and father Jozef, a handyman, welcomed the Mail Force delivery, as did squawking parrot Cookie

Mail Force has been crisscrossing Britain making deliveries of laptops to schools. Among the most recent recipients is 12-year-old Eva Wielgosz. 

She shares a house with her parents, two siblings, a dog, a rabbit and a parrot – and getting any schoolwork done is a challenge.

Eva has been managing as best she can, but the family’s sole laptop has been commandeered by sister Misia, 15, who is in Year 11 and needs it for her GCSEs. 

Eva, who is in Year 8, said: ‘It’s not easy. We use PowerPoint and Word at school, and I can’t do those things on a phone. Sometimes, it feels like it’s too tricky to get the work done.’

Her mother Justyna, who works in retail, and father Jozef, a handyman, welcomed the Mail Force delivery – as did squawking parrot Cookie and yapping Nicko the chihuahua, to the amusement of the family’s youngest child, Leon, seven. The rabbit Charli, was the only one who kept quiet.

Mrs Wielgosz said: ‘It has been very hard, because I work and my husband works as well. We manage, but it’s tough. 

Pearson, which publishes everything from pupils’ textbooks to educational resources for teachers and companies, pledged to add more laptops at a later date. Pictured: Andy Bird, chief executive of Pearson

There are certainly arguments over the laptop. Misia gets it mostly. We are very grateful for this laptop and thank you very much.’

Amazon has also pledged to donate 10,000 new tablets to locked-down pupils. 

The online giant was inspired to help with the haul, worth an estimated £500,000 at full price, after it was contacted by Mail Force last month.

The generous donation was sourced from equipment that would have been sold on its website. 

Amazon will donate their tablets through their existing partner Teach First, a charity that trains and supports teachers in the most deprived areas of the country.

UK manager John Boumphrey said: ‘We’re proud to play our part in combating the digital divide. We hope these devices will support the immediate needs of children in disadvantaged communities across the UK.’ 

HOW TO DONATE TO COMPUTERS FOR KIDS 

CLICK HERE TO DONATE 

TO YOU, THE READER: How to send us donations 

The Daily Mail has launched a brand new campaign, Computers For Kids, to raise money for Mail Force – a charity which aims to provide much needed school equipment and resources for pupils across the UK learning from home.

With schools closed, we are left with the dilemma of hundreds of thousands of pupils in the UK having no access to a computer in their home.

As part of this campaign, companies are donating their old laptops which, for around £15, can be wiped, professionally refurbished and made safe and fit for home schooling. They can then be delivered to a child or young person who needs one.

In addition, the campaign is looking to support children’s needs in other ways such as funding brand new laptops and tablets, and assisting with data access and connectivity for online learning. Any surplus funds will be used to support of the work of UK schools via other means.

TO MAKE A DONATION ONLINE

Visit mailforcecharity.co.uk/donate and follow the steps to complete your donation. 

Please don’t send us your old device.

TO COMPANIES: Could you give your old laptops?

Upgrading office computers is something all companies do from time to time – and there has never been a better time to donate old laptops. If you are a company with 50 laptops or more that you could give, please visit www.computacenter.com/daily-mail to check they are suitable and register your donation. We will arrange for collection by our specialist partners Computacenter. Please note: we cannot accept donated laptops from individuals.

COMPANIES SHOULD GO TO: computacenter.com/daily-mail 

TO SCHOOLS: Where to apply for the computers

Schools must apply to the Department for Education, which is managing the demand and prioritising the schools most in need. The Mail Force initiative means more laptops will become available more quickly.

SCHOOLS CAN APPLY HERE: https://get-help-with-tech.education.gov.uk

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