Cambridge businesses team up to get computers into the hands of young people who need them most

One of the harsh lessons from the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic was that far too many vulnerable young people in the UK don’t have access to a computer for learning at home. That’s why the Raspberry Pi Foundation has teamed up with UK Youth and a network of grassroots youth and community organisations to get computers into the hands of disadvantaged young people across the UK.

Delighted girl receives a Raspberry Pi computer

Philip Colligan, CEO, comments: “We’ve always known that — whether or not schools are open — it is transformational for young people to have a computer for learning at home, and there has always been a digital divide; but this year the pandemic really put it centre-stage.”

[[{"fid":"290230","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","alignment":"","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"child with computer","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"child with computer"},"link_text":false,"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"default","alignment":"","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"child with computer","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"child with computer"}},"attributes":{"alt":"child with computer","title":"child with computer","style":"float: right;","class":"media-element file-default","data-delta":"1"}}]]In the first phase of the pandemic, thanks to generous support from the Bloomfield Trust, the Raspberry Pi Foundation ran a pilot programme that got Raspberry Pi desktop computers into the hands of more than 1000 vulnerable young people.

The impact of the Raspberry Pi desktop computers was immediate:
● Young people who previously weren’t engaged have begun engaging with learning
● Parents have reported positive changes in young people’s attitudes and behaviour
● Youth and social workers have deepened their relationship with families, enabling them to provide better support.

A parent of a Raspberry Pi desktop computer recipient says: “The Raspberry Pi kit came at a time when I really needed it. Up until that point, T. had to do his homework and access the school’s home learning using my phone, which was not very practical at all. This was made worse by the fact that he had to share my phone with his sister, which ended up causing a lot of arguments. He was so pleased to receive a computer he could use.”

Companies across Cambridge have been helping to grow the initiative by donating to the campaign this December. With their donations, the Raspberry Pi Foundation can provide even more vulnerable young people with everything they need to learn at home, including:
● A Raspberry Pi desktop computer
● A monitor
● A webcam
● Educational software
● Ongoing support from a youth worker and the Raspberry Pi Foundation team.

SciBite, whose headquarters are Cambridge got involved at the start of the campaign.

Rob Greenwood, CEO & President at SciBite, comments: “Nevermore so has it been essential that all children have access to a computer to do their school work, and we're delighted to kick off the campaign with a donation from SciBite.”

To scale the Learn at Home campaign so more young people in need can benefit, more help is needed! To find out how to get involved, please visit www.raspberrypi.org/education/support-learn-at-home/

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