Binstead School at the Forefront With More Laptops

Pupils at Binsted CEVC Primary School were amongst almost 100 young people in Alton and the surrounding area to receive reconditioned laptops for home and school learning, thanks to a joint project, run by Alton Lions Club (CIO) and Alton and District Community Resilience Fund (ADCRF).

The ‘Laptops for Schools’ appeal was designed to address a shortage of devices in local primary and secondary schools, as a result of the Covid crisis. The scheme collected used laptops from local residents and businesses and paid for them to be reconditioned by Computer Solutions in Winchester before distributing them to local primary and secondary schools. The laptops will be  used both in the classroom and for home schooling.

Amongst those donating laptops was Alton-based company A-Plan Insurance whose Branch Manager, Lee Beckett, was at Binsted School recently to help hand over some of the 15 reconditioned machines his company had donated. A-Plan had also donated £250 to support the reconditioning process.

Lee said that “Being part of the local community has always been at the heart of what we do at A-Plan, and it is now more important than ever. That’s why the team and I are delighted to support the Alton Lions/ADCRF campaign as well as our own ‘IT for Schools’ promotion, to help education in the area.”

Binsted School Headteacher, Sharron Morton, said that “the 10 devices received as part of the ‘Laptops for Schools’ scheme were “a very welcome and valuable addition to our IT resources and the children are enjoying using them. It has been really helpful to be able to lend laptops to a number of our children during the recent lockdown to enable them to access our virtual learning sessions and your kind donation helped facilitate this.”

Sharron added that “As a small school, it has been amazing to be able to put more laptops in our four classes now that the children are back. This has increased access and engagement with computing, a vital aspect in our ever increasing digital world. Children need to have high quality IT and the generous donations of these laptops has made a huge impact for today and going forward. It is wonderful that the community has come together through Alton Lions, ADCRF and local businesses, such as A-Plan, working together to improve children’s lives through providing laptops to Binsted as well as other local schools.”

Speaking of A-Plan’s own ‘IT for Schools’ promotion, Lee explained that “for every new car, van, home or business insurance policy taken out with his company, when your child’s school is mentioned, A-Plan will donate £50 to the school’s PTA (or similar organisation). All parents need to do is call A-Plan Alton on 01420 543543 quoting ‘Schools’ and mention your school.”

Lee commented that “These are challenging times for schools, parents and pupils. Our hope is that this initiative will go some way to offering schools some incredibly valuable additional support at a time when they need it most. We want to spread the message throughout the area because the more people that know, the more we can donate.” Adding: “It’s a real win-win situation for a local business and its community, as we could help local people save money on their insurance, get good quality insurance advice and at the same time as contributing to a very good cause.” The A-Plan promotion runs until December 31.

Having addressed the immediate need, the Alton Lions/ADCRF ‘Laptops for Schools’ project has now closed. However, schools may still welcome donations of used laptops for reconditioning as the need to replace and repair machines is likely to be ongoing.

A-Plan’s Alton branch manager Lee Beckett, Binsted CEVC Primary School Headteacher, Sharron Morton, and Alton Lions Club (CIO) Vice-President, Moira Baker, with pupils Leo, Madeline, Ned, Harry and Leisha and their new laptops.