100 laptops to be handed to town's children

At a virtual meeting held on Wednesday, January 27, Thetford Business Forum chairman Will Bridgman announced their plans...

At a virtual meeting held on Wednesday, January 27, Thetford Business Forum chairman Will Bridgman announced their plans to purchase 100 chrome book laptops for children in the town - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Business owners in a town have clubbed together to raise money to provide 100 children with laptops, in a bid to support their education during lockdown and beyond. 

Members of Thetford Business Forum have come together to do what they can for the town’s youngsters, as schools remain shut to most pupils amid the third national lockdown.  

At a virtual meeting held on Wednesday, January 27, Thetford Business Forum chairman Will Bridgman announced their plans to purchase 100 Chrome Book laptops for children in the town, and called upon members for their help. 

The forum’s vice-chairman Jo Peason, who is also a trustee and treasurer of the Thetford Educational Foundation Trust, announced that the trust would match fund whatever money was raised.

Jo Pearson, vice chairman at the Norfolk Community Foundation.

Jo Pearson, vice chairman at the Norfolk Community Foundation. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

And only a few days later, they have reached their initial target of £23,700.  

Mr Bridgman, from Warren Services in Thetford said: “We want to make sure even after the pandemic we continue to help the children of the town and make sure they have the equipment they need to succeed in their education. 

ET 100 laptops for children in Thetford

“We have already reached our target but are still receiving donations. I’m really proud of our town.  

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“If the people in Thetford are given a cause they believe in, they will always step up to try and meet the challenge.” 

The money raised will handed to the Norfolk Community Foundation - where Mr Peason is also vice-chairman -who will purchase the laptops to be handed out in Thetford. 

This comes as part of the ‘Every Child Online’ campaign organised by the Eastern Daily Press, Norfolk County Council and the Norfolk Community Foundation (NCF). 

At a virtual meeting held on Wednesday, January 27, Thetford Business Forum chairman Will Bridgman announced their plans...

At a virtual meeting held on Wednesday, January 27, Thetford Business Forum chairman Will Bridgman announced their plans to purchase 100 chrome book laptops for children in the town. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Its aim is to connect as many young people as possible with the technology they need to learn during the pandemic. 

Mr Pearson said: “We need to get the kids connected, it's as simple as that. Families with multiple children are perhaps finding it a bit more challenging. 

“Dan Carter, Principal at the Thetford Academy, is involved and is liaising with the local authority to make sure the right children get what they need.  

Thetford Academy principal Dan Carter who was praised by Ofsted inspectors after their latest visit

Thetford Academy principal Dan Carter. - Credit: Angela Sharpe Photography

“We have been promised that they will be in the hands of children within two weeks and if funds continue to roll in, we will increase the amount laptops supplied.

“I just want to say thank you to Thetford businesses again for such a fantastic response to an appeal for the town."