Bournemouth schoolchildren have been gifted computers following a generous donation of £30,000 from Games Workshop co-founder Ian Livingstone CBE.
The Fighting Fantasy author recently donated the sum, through his foundation, to provide youngsters without PCs with the technology to help them tackle online learning.
More than 100 children have benefitted so far with 132 computers allocated and the kit also includes webcams and support to set up is also available. A further batch of 43 computers are in the process of being distributed to youngsters.
Mr Livingstone collaborated with the Raspberry Pi Foundation who reached out to the local YMCA to ensure the computer kits supplied were handed out to children who needed them most.
Mr Livingstone has close ties to Bournemouth through his work with the Aspirations Academies Trust. The partnership will see Mr Livingstone open his first digital academy in the heart of the town centre this September.
Livingstone Academy Bournemouth will have a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).
Mr Livingstone told the Bournemouth Echo: ‘’I wanted my Foundation to make a donation to a charity based in Bournemouth to deliver computers to disadvantaged children. I discussed this with the Raspberry Pi Foundation and they put forward a plan which would be operated by the local YMCA groups with whom they have worked before on similar projects.
‘’The pandemic has created a shift towards online learning over the last 12 months and has highlighted how important it is for children to have access to technology. For a child to be a true citizen of the 21st century they need to be in the driver’s seat, rather than the passenger seat of technology.’’
Teenager Jasmine Summers, 13, sent a thank you note after receiving her computer and wrote: ‘’The Raspberry Pi computer helps me to get my school work done as well as learn how to program! This is a great experience and I am very fortunate to have received one.’’
The parents of 10-year-old Evie also provided positive feedback having received a Raspberry Pi computer. They said: ‘’We just wanted to say how privileged we feel being given the computer which is already a huge hit. Evie will be able to complete school work and class zooms properly.’’
The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK-based charity that works to put the power of computing and digital making into the hands of people all over the world.
Olympia Brown, Head of Youth Partnerships at Raspberry Pi, said: ‘’The computers are a personal gift from Ian Livingstone and we hope that the children who received them have been made to feel special and have felt that someone has taken an interest and care in their future.
‘’We have been working with YMCA Bournemouth and have taken responsibility for co-ordinating the handouts of the computer kits.
‘’The feedback that we have had so far is that the computers have helped the children with their school work and also opened up their learning opportunities. They have been able to produce work of a higher quality, have been able to concentrate better and are more motivated.
‘’The problem with access to technology has been highlighted by the pandemic but has not been caused by the pandemic and has not been solved by the pandemic. It’s something we need to continue to solve. ‘’