Northampton Borough Council recently donated laptops, computers and internet connection equipment to Free2Talk charity so it could provide children and young people lacking regular access to the internet, with the equipment they need to get online.

The council donated 17 PC’s and monitors (with keyboards, mice, power cables and network cables to connect to home routers) nine laptops and two iPads to Free2Talk charity so it could provide the necessary equipment to young people who have no computer access to continue to learn and engage with education or keep in touch with friends during Covid-19 pandemic.

Following the coronavirus outbreak, the charity has identified that many children and young people in Northamptonshire struggle to complete their online homework as they are lacking the necessary equipment.

The charity is appealing for donations of old and new laptops, tablets and internet connectivity devices. All new and refurbished devices will be distributed to households currently without internet access.

Councillor Anna King, Cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “As schools have transitioned to remote learning in the face of Covid-19, families without a computer at home have been put in an impossible position. Laptops and tablets simply aren’t affordable for many people.

“Now more than ever we must work together as a community to give all young people access to the opportunities and support, they need. By supporting Free2Talk’s work, we are ensuring that children and young people access education during this challenging time.

“If you are a business owner or private individual with a laptop or tablet you no longer need, contact the charity as they would be delighted to put your equipment in the hands of someone who really needs it.”

Jodie Low at Free 2 Talk said: “Computers and laptops are now essential to being able to engage with education, this has been the case for some time. I’m staggered by the number of children who have been through primary and secondary school without the basic equipment for school; it’s the same as going to school with a pen.

“We often write these children off with behavioural difficulties, but can you imagine your behaviour if you couldn’t do your schoolwork and then were punished for not completing it?”.

To donate a laptop, tablet or connectivity devices including dongles, sims or other equipment, please email Jodie.Low@free2talkcic.org . If you don’t have equipment to give away but would still like to help, you can make cash donations through Local Giving localgiving.org/charity/free2talk/