Spencer Group steps up to children’s laptop appeal

Spencer Group has come forward to support a campaign to ensure every child in Hull aged eight to 16 has access to a laptop.

Hull City Council asked business across the city to make financial contributions and donate laptops to help bridge the digital divide.

The council set up its Every Child Connected working group at the start of 2021 with the ambition that every child attending a Hull school will have access to a laptop and not be disadvantaged due to a lack of technology and equipment.

The group established that almost 4,000 children were without access to a device at home at the start of the year.

Now, Spencer Group has stepped forward to help, along with a number of other leading businesses in the region. As a result, hundreds of laptops have been purchased.

Executive Chairman Charlie Spencer OBE said: “As a company founded and based in Hull and committed to employing young people from the city, we’re delighted to support this campaign.

“It’s so important that every child in the city has access to devices they can use at home to support their in-school education, especially when it is now critical that young people have the digital skills to thrive in today’s technology-driven world of work.

“It’s fantastic that the local business community is working with Hull City Council to support the learning and development of so many schoolchildren in this very practical and effective way.”

Allenby Commercial and Hull Esteem Consortium have also made significant contributions, as have other organisations including Hull Children’s University, Arco, SPACE, Siemens Gamesa, Eight Fifty Group, Chaucer Foods, Dunstan Ship Repairs, Connexin, Garness Jones, Croda, McCain and Fenner Dunlop.

Paul Furnival, Head of IT Services at Spencer Group, centre, with Steph Greaken, of Allenby Commercial, and Gavin Barley, of Hull Esteem Consortium.

Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, Councillor Shane McMurray, said: “It’s fantastic that local people and businesses are coming together to support the future generation. I am, and I know the schools are, extremely grateful to these local companies for their donations.

“This scheme is not just to support our young people during Covid, it’s to support them in their education and learning over the months and years ahead. As more and more of education, social and economic life takes place online, it’s vital our young people are able to be fully involved in the progressive technological future.”

The laptops will be owned by the schools, and loaned to pupils.