Donate old computers to scheme helping MVC students in coronavirus lockdown

PUBLISHED: 07:01 12 May 2020

MVC principal Simon Holmes and Susan van de Ven with donated equipment. Picture; Courtesy of MVC

MVC principal Simon Holmes and Susan van de Ven with donated equipment. Picture; Courtesy of MVC

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Recycling centres are reopening this week – but don’t throw away any unwanted computers, laptops, screens, mice and keyboards as Meldreth Coronavirus Community Support can put them to use.

Author Frances Hardinge with her donation. Picture; Courtesy of MVCAuthor Frances Hardinge with her donation. Picture; Courtesy of MVC

The group was set up to help the village community during the pandemic and is chaired by Meldreth county councillor Susan van de Ven.

On the Screenbank scheme, Susan said: “We are building new computers out of second-hand donations, to supply Melbourn Village College students who are on home study due to COVID-19 but lacking home computers. We’d also like to make them available to elderly, isolated residents, who’d like to get set up on the internet for the first time.”

The computers are rebuilt by engineer Andy Thomas on his kitchen table.

They are then PAT tested by electrician David Coton. The first lot of new computers were delivered to MVC last week.

Andy Thomas and David Coton load Screenbank donations into a car. Picture; Courtesy of MVCAndy Thomas and David Coton load Screenbank donations into a car. Picture; Courtesy of MVC

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Principal Mr Simon Holmes said: “We’re extremely grateful for this equipment as it will make a significant difference to those children and families who receive it. Home schooling is not something any of our parents expected to be doing and for those children who have been trying to access their work on a phone or sharing a tablet or family computer, this is a huge step forward. Our thanks go to all who have donated.”

Susan added: “More computers are in the process of being rebuilt, but extra monitors are needed, as well as keyboards and mice. Laptops are particularly useful. Whatever might seem too old or unworkable can be stripped for spare parts.”

Award-winning children’s author Frances Hardinge said of her donation: “This was my laptop while I was writing A Face Like Glass and the first half of Cuckoo Song. It’s helped me conjure underground labyrinths, exploding cheeses, screaming dolls and supernatural secrets. I hope it will be of use to somebody else now!”

Fellow children’s author Rhiannon Lassiter donated her old iBook G4. It’s “still worth a bob or two” and will be sold to raise funds to pay for spare parts.

Gaming guru Alistair Halsby has donated the smallest and largest computers so far.

Andy said: “Both have about the same power – time shrinks things! The large computer was in its day an example of the best money could buy.”

If you have any donations, email susanvandeven5@gmail.com or call 07905 325574.


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