Baltic Apprenticeships has donated 20 refurbished laptops for use by pupils at Our Lady and St Bede Catholic Academy in Stockton.
The donation, arranged through the Teesside Philanthropic Foundation’s Digital Poverty Appeal, were presented to deputy head Donna Burns and assistant head Craig McLeod by Baltic representatives, Alice Wanless (Employer Engagement Manager) and Andy Kidger (IT Support and Facilities Manager).
“I heard about the Digital Poverty Appeal on BBC Radio Tees, and thought it was a brilliant idea,” explained Andy.
“We had some laptops sitting on shelves that we were no longer using, so we felt it was important that they didn’t go to waste while other people needed them.
“A lot of our team at Baltic have children trying to learn at home and we’ve seen first-hand how hard it can be to get the right equipment sorted, especially in families with more than one child.
“When I spoke to Tony, our MD, there was no question at all, he just said ‘Let’s do it’ – so we did!”
Alice added: “This was a fantastic opportunity for Baltic Apprenticeships to support schools on Teesside and help young people continue learning – especially in such a challenging and confusing time.”
Baltic’s Director of Innovation, Joanna Wake, summed it up when she said: “Digital careers will be a prominent future career path for many of our region’s young people. At this vital stage in their education, it’s crucial that no child is digitally excluded.
“As the leading digital apprenticeship provider in Teesside, Baltic are delighted to see so many young people launching careers in software, data and IT in our very fast-growing digital sector.
“Our future trailblazers are those kids carrying out their education at home right now in what is a very challenging time for them. Removing an equipment barrier for some was something we simply had to do.”
The leadership team at Our Lady and St Bede have generously offered to share their windfall with St Michael’s RC Secondary School in Billingham.
Promoted by Middlesbrough mayor Andy Preston and coordinated by the Philanthropic Foundation, the Digital Poverty Appeal has seen a series of local companies make donations towards laptops and other tech for schools to supply to pupils during the Covid lockdown and beyond.