Lockdown Laptops: Zurich staff raise money to buy new devices for Swindon Academy home schooling

Lockdown Laptops: Zurich staff raise money to buy new devices for Swindon Academy home schooling

Published on 10 February 2021

Staff from the UK Investments division at Zurich (a team of around 30 people based in Swindon), have raised £3,000 to support Swindon Academy, which includes matched funding from the Zurich Community Trust (ZCT), Zurich’s charitable arm in the UK.  

This donation has enabled Swindon Academy Primary Schools at Beech Avenue and Alton Close to provide Chromebooks to families who don’t have the technology available for home schooling.

Liz Davies, a volunteer fundraiser at Zurich says:

“We were concerned by the impact that limited access to technology was having on some students’ ability to learn from home, and the long-term affect this could have on their future opportunities.”  She explains:

“A small group of us volunteered to find out how we could quickly help local students in need with the money we had raised. Zurich Community Trust (ZCT)* kindly matched our initial funds and have also supported us in meetings with local schools. Swindon Academy was identified as one of several schools that needed help for students without access to online learning, and as a result we have donated £3,000 to them”.

Caroline McMillan, Amanda Head, Rebecca Hobbs and Liz Davies co-ordinated the team’s fundraising efforts, and now Swindon Academy can give laptops to more of their students while home learning continues.

Swindon Academy Primary school Headteachers Emma Howarth-Barnes at Alton Close, and Charlotte Beckhurst at Beech Avenue are relieved to be able to provide new devices to their students at this difficult time. Mrs Howarth-Barnes comments:

“Our most disadvantaged families have received a Chromebook, as the lack of a device meant they were not able to access home learning or live face to face lessons. Some of these are families of multiple siblings who needed to share a device, or families who only had a parent's phone to access home learning on.”  She continues:

“A Chromebook has meant they can see their friends and teachers every day, feel connected to school, as well as being able to access the school curriculum through our carefully planned lessons”. 

* Zurich Community Trust (ZCT) was first launched in 1973 and over the span of 48 years the Trust has worked in a spirit of collaboration with a huge range of charities and local community causes, of all shapes and sizes, across the UK and overseas. Every year, through a combination of grant-making, volunteering and fundraising, ZCT can support over 200 causes across the UK. 

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