Investing in Young People
AESSEAL plc has donated £400,000 to Laptops for Kids - enough funding to supply connectivity to every disadvantaged child in South Yorkshire and kickstart the campaign in its home town of Rotherham.
The charitable organisation will use £300,000 to supply refurbished laptops to 1,500 households across the metropolitan borough, meeting around half of the estimated need in Rotherham. The remaining £100,000 will be used to buy dongles for connecting 10,000 households to the internet, meeting the estimated total need across South Yorkshire.
AESSEAL is a world-leading designer and manufacturer of mechanical seals and support systems. The company operates from 230 locations across the world and is headquartered in Rotherham.
Chris Rea, managing director (pictured), said: “At AESSEAL, we believe in being a good neighbour, partner and useful member of the communities in which we live and work.
“Our donation is an investment in young people across Rotherham and South Yorkshire - we will need their ideas and energy to tackle the global challenges facing our planet.”
Mr Rea added that 3i Group, a leading institutional investor with a significant minority shareholding in AESSEAL, has enthusiastically supported the decision.
Technology entrepreneur David Richards, the co-founder of the Laptops for Kids campaign, said: “Huge thanks to AESSEAL for this powerful expression of support, which will help thousands of children to access remote learning during the pandemic.
“This should be a clarion call to businesses everywhere to support our campaign and make sure every child has safe access to the internet so they can fulfil their potential.”
Cllr Chris Read, leader of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, said: “This is a tremendous gesture from AESSEAL which befits their commitment to our local community, and expanding opportunities for local people. I want to offer my personal thanks to Chris and his team.
“I’m really pleased that the council is able to work alongside them and our schools to ensure that more IT equipment will get to the children who will most benefit from it.
“In what has been the most awful year, this is another example of how our community comes together to look after each other and overcome the challenges that we face.”
The estimated need for laptops and dongles is based on detailed survey data supplied by Sheffield schools and extrapolated across Rotherham and South Yorkshire.
Laptops for Kids launched in Sheffield in September and has proved its model of sourcing donations, securely erasing devices and distributing them according to need.
The campaign is scaling up across the North of England and has launched in Newcastle and Doncaster with more locations to follow.
Partners include Blancco plc, the global leader in certified data erasure, Twinkl, the online educational publisher, and WANdisco plc, the data software company jointly headquartered in Sheffield and Silicon Valley.
To donate devices or cash, please visit www.LTFK.co.uk
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