ZenTec donations make a big difference to Alexandra Park schoolchildren

Date published: 01 February 2021

While schools remain closed to the majority of pupils, online learning has become the tool of the modern teacher for supporting students at home.

Alexandra Park Junior School is one school in Oldham that has strived to provide the best for its pupils, seeking out every avenue possible to provide devices for those pupils who do not have one themselves.

One generous donation came from ZenTec Network Solutions, an IT Support company based in Dukinfield.

The company, led by Cerid Grimshaw and his business partner Michael Brooks, started an appeal last October to encourage people to donate old technology so it could be refurbished and then donated to others.

Their campaign “Don’t bin it, donate it!” has provided well needed devices to families who need it.

Cerid said: “We used company money to fund this and have now spent over two thousand pounds refurbishing items.

"We have set up a go fund me page to raise £10,000 so that we can continue refurbish tablets and laptops.

"To date, we have sent out over £7,500 worth of tech.

"We have donated to children’s homes, foodbanks and schools alike.

"Since returning to work after Christmas, this appeal has really taken off."

Their amazing device donation will help Alexandra Park school provide access to online learning to more pupils.

Deputy headteacher Mrs Stephanie Griffin said: “'We are delighted to have received this kind donation for our families.

"Many are struggling to access remote learning through mobile phones and some children are sharing devices with their siblings, so they can't always access work or live lessons.  

"We know just how important this will be to them. We can't thank Zentec enough for how they are supporting schools and pupils in the local area.”

Samantha Nicholson-Hickling, Year 5 teacher and union representative at the school, said: “We recognise that not everyone has a stable internet connection at home, or access to a laptop or tablet to do online learning.

"It’s been an uphill struggle to provide the best for our families, especially those who have no device.

"Thankfully we have an amazing team around us who are doing their absolute best to support the children working from home.”

The school has accessed and ordered laptops via the DFE scheme, but has had to look further afield to ensure they received as many devices as possible to support families.

Some families have also been offered data bundles for their mobile phones, or routers to support a more stable internet connection.

Heading up the hunt for devices is Simone Corry, a member of the school admin team.

She said: “We are incredibly grateful to ZenTec for their help in supplying our school with devices to assist our children with home learning.

"We have had a lot of families who have been working on one mobile phone between siblings and made it our mission to be able to supply all our families with at least one device.

"We have almost reached our goal. 

"We appreciate all the support and kindness from ZenTec in helping our children access learning from home."

Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in and around Oldham? Let us know by emailing news@oldham-chronicle.co.uk , calling our Oldham-based newsroom on 0161 633 2121 , tweeting us @oldhamchronicle or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.

While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Oldham Chronicle and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Oldham Chronicle offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer, please consider supporting us financially and help Oldham Chronicle to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Oldham Chronicle