Two Merthyr Tydfil businesses have spent more than £15,000 on 70 new laptops for pupils at five local primary schools.
Abox Storage Solutions supplied 50 Lenovo tablets and Raynes Scaffolding & Groundworks provided 20 Chromebooks to Pantysgallog, St Aloysius, St Illtyd’s, Gwaunfarren and Gellifaelog primary schools.
The companies contacted the County Borough Council’s education department to ask if schools could nominate families likely to benefit from the computers.
Huw Davies, Managing Director of Abox, which is based at Goatmill Industrial Park said: “As a local business, it means a lot to us to give support when needed. We have previously donated storage and teaching walls to Gwaunfarren School and are happy to regularly donate to local charities.
“The decision to buy 50 tablets for local primary schools was a natural one for us, after hearing of the difficulties teachers and parents face to keep our children’s education going in these difficult and extraordinary times.”
Karen Raynes, Director of Raynes Scaffolding & Groundworks, which trades from Pant Industrial Estate, said the business was always looking for ways to help out the local community.
“Every year we’ve sponsored local sports clubs,” she added. “But this year, due to the pandemic and schools being closed for some time – and also after reading that some local children were struggling to access online school work – we thought we could provide chromebooks to schools to distribute to children in need of them in the hope that they don’t fall behind with their school work or feel left out in any way.”
Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Learning Cllr Lisa Mytton said she wanted to thank the companies for their donations. “The pandemic has hit a lot of people’s pockets and we’re so grateful for the businesses’ generosity in ensuring that our young people are all learning from a level playing field when it comes to technology.”
Ten tablets were donated to pupils currently using the hub provision at Pantysgallog Primary School, as well as to learners to use while at home.
Headteacher Darren Thomas (pictured, with pupils) said: “We’ll be using these to support our digitally excluded pupils and families with distanced learning. They will enable learners to access remote learning materials and take part in live lessons or well-being sessions.”