There were smiles all round when our Boston store's community champion Stephen Bromby arranged a surprise delivery of 10 laptops to a local primary school as part of Asda’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.
We recently formed a partnership with technology provider Dell to invest over £2 million so that every Asda store in the UK could donate at least 10 laptops to a school in need in their local community. Stephen arranged for delivery of 10 laptops to St Nicholas CE Primary Academy, each of which comes with a tech bundle to support ongoing home learning activities.
We launched this initiative to support schools 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 our network partner Vodafone. The dongle and data allowance has been funded by a separate £500,000 contribution from our 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 our in-house IT support team will also provide support to any school that needs help to set up the equipment.
Stephen said: "I’ve got a really close relationship with St Nicholas CE Primary Academy and I know what a massive difference this donation is going to make to the school on receiving these laptops. I'm so proud that Asda can 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.”
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.