Motoring giant pledges more than 600 brand new laptops to appeal

Ivan Sarti, IT Director of Lotus Cars and Kenny Newbegin, ICT Solutions at Norfolk County Council at County Hall yesterday as the car manufacturer donated 625 new Chromebooks to the Every Child Online campaign.

Ivan Sarti, IT Director of Lotus Cars and Kenny Newbegin, ICT Solutions at Norfolk County Council at County Hall yesterday as the car manufacturer donated 625 new Chromebooks to the Every Child Online campaign. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Car manufacturer Lotus has donated more than 600 brand new laptops to children in need as part of the Every Child Online campaign ran by this newspaper alongside Norfolk Community Foundation and Norfolk County Council.

The Hethel-based company donated 625 brand new Chromebooks in an attempt to bring disadvantaged children up to speed with online learning.

An estimated 6,000 in the county are without a digital device to complete online lessons, with 1,000 families believed to have no way at all to connect to the internet.

Ivan Sarti, IT Director of Lotus Cars and Kenny Newbegin, ICT Solutions at Norfolk County Council at County Hall yesterday as the car manufacturer donated 625 new Chromebooks to the Every Child Online campaign.

Ivan Sarti, IT Director of Lotus Cars at County Hall yesterday as the car manufacturer donated 625 new Chromebooks to the Every Child Online campaign. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Ivan Sarti, executive director of IT at Lotus UK, said the company had donated the laptops  to give every child the opportunity to succeed regardless of background.

He said: “We are proud to be able to support the call for more laptops by donating over 600 brand new devices which will be distributed across the county.

"At Lotus, we believe that talent must always be given the chance to succeed and that begins with education, so we are delighted to be able to offer these devices, enabling children to continue learning and interacting with their peers whilst at home.”

Norfolk County Council received the new Chromebooks yesterday, on the day that donations to the campaign exceeded 1,000 devices.

Ivan Sarti, IT Director of Lotus Cars and Kenny Newbegin, ICT Solutions at Norfolk County Council at County Hall yesterday as the car manufacturer donated 625 new Chromebooks to the Every Child Online campaign.

Ivan Sarti, IT Director of Lotus Cars at County Hall yesterday as the car manufacturer donated 625 new Chromebooks to the Every Child Online campaign. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

John Fisher, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “This generous donation will go a long way to make sure no child in the county is left behind by the pandemic. One device will make a difference to a whole family, not just one child.

“The response so far from individuals and businesses like Lotus is testament to the sense of community in Norfolk. But there is still a way to go to reach our goal so we are appealing to other businesses that may have spare ex-corporate devices that could help a child connect to their education.”

Ivan Sarti, IT Director of Lotus Cars and Kenny Newbegin, ICT Solutions at Norfolk County Council at County Hall yesterday as the car manufacturer donated 625 new Chromebooks to the Every Child Online campaign.

Ivan Sarti, IT Director of Lotus Cars and Kenny Newbegin, ICT Solutions at Norfolk County Council at County Hall yesterday as the car manufacturer donated 625 new Chromebooks to the Every Child Online campaign. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

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Those wishing to donate equipment to the Every Child Online campaign should email devices@norfolk.gov.uk.

To donate funds visit www.norfolkfoundation.com/every-child-online/

Email casey.cooper-fiske@archant.co.uk to let us know how you're getting involved.

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