Academic launches lockdown laptop fundraising campaign

Lecturer aiming to enable primary school pupils to access online lessons.

A fundraising campaign by a Birmingham City University academic to buy laptops for primary pupils enabling them access online lessons during the current lockdown has generated over £1,000 in just five days.

Digital Forensics Lecturer Richard Hale is planning to generate enough donations from generous well-wishers to purchase 20 new Chromebooks for children disadvantaged by Covid restrictions who attend Shipston Primary in South Warwickshire.

The Shipston resident kicked off his ‘Leave no student behind’ campaign by inviting friends and family to contribute to the first laptop instead of buying birthday presents, before broadening out the campaign into a ten day £1000 fundraising challenge via the GoFundMe website.

“We doubled my initial target of £1,000 within 48 hours thanks to a local company, Classic Driving Development who have pledged £1,000. I’ve been amazed at the generosity of the community and have received donations from London and Northern Ireland too.”

Explaining his motivation for supporting the cause, Richard Hale said, “I saw a segment on BBC Breakfast about pupils not having access to laptops, and in some cases attempting their school work using a parent’s mobile phone.

“As my birthday is on the 17th January, I thought why not and set myself a ten day challenge by asking family and friends to make a contribution so I could purchase a laptop for my local primary school rather than give me gifts – I’m sure I can miss birthday presents this year. I contacted the local primary school and they were delighted with the offer.

“I have been fortunate in my life to have had support which has been fundamental in my journey so far and wanted to show these less fortunate pupils that no matter what, there is always hope and there are people out there who will offer support. I’m a big believer in ‘paying it forward’ and wanted to kick off 2021 with some positivity.”

You can contribute to Richard Hale’s ‘Leave no student behind’ fundraising campaign here.