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Laptops for schoolchildren donated by Fife employers

Viewforth High School depute headteacher Alistair Stewart and colleague Jackie Meek collected the laptops from Asda Kirkcaldy community champion Jean Ritchie.

Fife employers are among those who have helped equip schoolchildren for home learning.

St Andrews University bought over 100 Chromebooks for children of staff and postgraduate research students unable to source extra devices.

Asda Kirkcaldy donated 10 laptops to nearby Viewforth High School for distribution to pupils struggling to access online learning.

The university invited applications for laptops, which were purchased with donations from alumni and friends to the principal’s strategic response fund.

Receiving a Chromebook from the university has been extremely helpful to me, not only during the pandemic home schooling, but continuing with homework and into high school.”

Single parent Lucie Randal

Single parent and staff member Lucie Randal, who has three children in primary school, one with additional needs, got one of the 117 laptops handed out.

She said: “Receiving a Chromebook from the university has been extremely helpful to me, not only during the pandemic home schooling, but continuing with homework and into high school.

“It’s replaced our very old, dated and slow laptop, allowing the children to work quickly and with minimal frustration and assistance. It has made all the difference while I’m working from home. I am genuinely extremely grateful.”

‘Juggling home-schooling and work’

A donation of £10,000 from Santander Universities allowed the scheme to be open to postgraduate research students.

Steve Watt, chief information officer at the university, said: “We were delighted to be able to offer Chromebooks to those staff most clearly meeting the criteria who are juggling home-schooling and work.

“IT services colleagues have worked hard to issue the devices as quickly as possible to families and we’re delighted to receive such positive feedback, and to hear about the benefits these devices are already bringing.”

The Dell laptops given to Viewforth High School are being handed out to pupils in need, each with a tech bundle.

I know what a massive difference the donation of laptops is going to make to the school and its pupils.”

Jean Ritchie, Asda Kirkcaldy

Across the UK the supermarket chain aims to provide over 7,000 laptops to schools to help tackle digital exclusion through a partnership with Dell investing £2 million.

Asda Kirkcaldy community champion Jean Ritchie said: “I know what a massive difference the donation of laptops is going to make to the school and its pupils.

“It makes me really proud that I can be here today to support my local community and surprise them with the technology they so desperately need.”

Thanking the store, Alistair Stewart, depute head teacher at Viewforth High School, said: “We have already begun to issue these to those young people in need and I would like to pass on the gratitude of our young people and their families.

“The laptops allow these young people to access the best of our learning and teaching.”

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