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WLC First in England to Receive Tablets from Daily Mail Campaign

West London College was thrilled to receive 289 Dell Laptops today, 29 January 2021, from the DfE as well as 20 Microsoft Surface tablets from the Daily Mail’s ‘Computers for Kids’ campaign. Whilst the much-needed laptops, provided by the Department for Education, had been expected, the tablets were a wonderful surprise – the college had learned about the gift just the day before delivery. Deputy and Assistant Principals, James Taylor and Tracy Round-Turner, were on hand to receive the precious cargo. 

Tracy Round-Turner and James Taylor with the delivery
Tracy Round-Turner and James Taylor with the delivery

The Daily Mail launched the campaign ‘Computers For Kids’ last Saturday, 23 January 2021, and the public and corporate response has been overwhelming. One week later, the Daily Mail was dropping off their first shipment to West London College, and they had also raised a staggering £5 million for the campaign.

Sam Greenhill, a reporter for the Daily Mail said: “We’ve launched a campaign to get laptops to schools and colleges all over the UK and we’ve raised a huge amount of money in just a few days. Our readers have been sending us cheques, believe it or not. I don’t even know where my chequebook is, but they do and they’ve been sending them in in their droves; hundreds of thousands pledged online and we’ve got big donors like Sainsbury’s and Lloyd’s and they’re sending us laptops and money. And we’ve got to get these things out as fast as possible to kids all over the country and that’s what we’re doing today.”

The 289 reconditioned Dell laptops provided by the DfE were wiped clean of all previous material at a specialist facility and looked as good as new. The college’s IT department will rapidly add the software students need for online study and then distribute the devices to students studying at home who have little or no access to computers of their own.

At college, Daily Mail photographer, Kerry Davies, took photos of James and Tracy with the computers, as well as, learner Connor McKernan, studying Uniformed Public Services Level 2. Connor has poor online access at home and so has been coming to college each day. He will receive one of the newly-acquired computers.

Connor said to the Mail’s reporter, Sam: “Thanks to you, I won’t need to keep coming in now. I can get on with my assignments at home.”

Sam asked James why he thought the public had reacted so positively to the Daily Mail’s ‘Computers for Kids’ campaign. James replied: “The response to the Daily Mail campaign shows just how much we care about education as a society. Some students are struggling to access online education. Some only have mobile phones, some don’t even have that. These laptops will enable those learners to engage in online learning and make a vast difference to their lives, and we are very grateful to the Daily Mail for the help you’ve provided.”

During lockdown, most college students are studying online to try and restrict the spread of COVID-19. While vulnerable students and those without access to online learning are coming into college, many more are struggling to keep up with their studies at home. The college has loaned out as many devices as possible and the additional support from the DfE and Mail Force will mean that each learner has the best possible access to their teachers and learning resources.

Other delighted students to receive laptops on Friday were Beauty and Make-up student Shalia Turner-McKenzie, Art and Design student Daria Nicu and Gatehouse student, Hayden Thomas-Brown.

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