A community spirited Ruddington computer repairer has come to the aid of cash-strapped local parents whose children need access to a laptop for their studies during ‘lockdown’.
With kids at home again whilst our schools are closed due to the latest Coronavirus surge, Damien Coggin (pictured above), of Ruddington Computers on St Mary’s Crescent, has stepped in to fix for free unwanted laptops which are passed on to St Peter’s C of E Junior School. He even set the ball rolling himself by pulling from his website two reconditioned laptops he’d had up for sale to donate to the school instead.
The idea came about when Laura Ratcliffe of Ruddington Mums contacted Head Teacher, Michael Bradley, to ask if he needed help from the community to assist with home learning. “I was thinking of fundraising for tablets/laptops, but he advised that they needed laptops rather than pounds or tablets – and that got me thinking about ways we as a village could help” reveals Laura. “I suggested we contact Ruddington Computers to ask if they could refurbish old laptops, as I know Damien has been keen to help in previous lockdowns”.
Damien was only too happy to help out: “You would be surprised how many children still do not have a home computer to be able to use for school work” he says. “With the COVID-19 vaccine planned to be nationwide by Autumn at the earliest, most of this year will be unstable. A school is more than just a place to get an education – children need stability. A school is an essential part of the community and it deserves our support. The head teacher has gone beyond his job requirements to help the pupils of Ruddington.”
St Peter’s School is appealing for Windows laptops which are no longer used to be donated for their pupils. Head Teacher, Mr Bradley, says: “As most of our pupils are now learning from home, it is essential that they have access to adequate technology. Unfortunately, the technology gap between some of our pupils is bigger than one might expect meaning there is a danger that they will fall behind in their academic work during the current school closures. As she has done throughout the past year, Laura from Ruddington Mums got in touch to see if there was anything the community could support us with. When we were discussing the problems that some of our pupils had with technology, she suggested I got in touch with Ruddington Computers.”
Damien says people donating their old laptops needn’t worry about security issues, and lists the following key points:
- Any systems will be securely and professionally data wiped by us, no data that was previously on a system will be recovered once it is wiped by us ensuring your deleted data will not fall in to anyone else’s hands.
- If you need any data removing from a laptop and putting on to another system you have before we wipe it we can do that for free.
- Laptops should be Windows 7, 8 or 10, that is systems made within the last 10 years (since 2010).
- If a system is totally dead we can sometimes get it going again. If there is any data on a system you wish to donate that will not work we can recover the data for you for free.
- For any child who lives in Ruddington, while they are being taught remotely we will provide free support and free labour should their system have any problems.
- We will provide all software needed for children to learn from home, for example programs to use Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Antivirus, Adobe Reader, etc.
- It does not matter if there is no charger/mains lead. If we do not have one in stock, we will supply it.
- Do not worry if it is slow. The system will be made faster and brought up to date by us.
Damien adds: “My daughter Storm, who’s 11, goes to St Peter’s and is over the moon that we are helping in this project, to get computers to children from her school who do not have one themselves. With donated laptops we can hopefully supply the children with a link to the school and bridge that gap for those without – giving some normality and stability for these children and some mental relief for the parents”.
Mr Bradley remarks: “Damien did not hesitate to offer his support and even offered to do it without any recognition or publicity. Since then he has been back and forth to St Peter’s collecting unwanted laptops that people have donated and bringing them back fully functional ready for our pupils to use. Yet again it’s a fantastic example of what can be achieved when communities come together.”
If you have an unwanted Windows laptop to donate, you’re asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org ‘phone the school on 0115-9743303 during office hours, or just drop it off at the school on Ashworth Avenue.