Council leader delighted with response to Laptops for Learners appeal

Trafford Council Leader Andrew Western is thanking local businesses and individuals for their generosity after receiving dozens of donations of laptops and iPads.
The response came following a call-out for devices to help children in the borough without access to the equipment needed for home learning.

AQA, England’s largest exam board for GCSEs and A Levels, which has one of its main offices in Manchester, has made a huge contribution to the effort by donating more than 300 used laptops. A team of staff led by Mike Roberts, an IT infrastructure manager at AQA, gave up their free time to securely wipe and clear the laptops of all data and ensure they were thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

Devices were then distributed by the Council to local schools to ensure they reached the children that needed them most.

A number of people without a device to donate, but keen to support the cause, have also made financial contributions with £3,500 received to date.

Andrew Western, Leader of Trafford Council said:

“We’ve been blown away by the fantastic response to our request for laptops and other devices to support the home learning of children across the borough.

Home learning is tough at the best of times, but for those without access to the right technology it can become an impossible task, and there is a real risk that without help these children will fall significantly behind their peers. The donation from AQA is absolutely fantastic and will make a huge difference to the recipients. To see this number of laptops cleaned up and ready to be distributed across Trafford has given us all a real lift. We are living through difficult times, but over and over again the pandemic has brought out the best in people and fired up their community spirit. We thank everyone who has donated to the appeal for their kindness and generosity.”

Mr Roberts, IT Infrastructure Manager at AQA, added:

“After watching an item on the breakfast news one morning, I thought there was a way AQA might be able to help as we’d recently undergone an IT refresh. My wife made me aware of the appeal at Trafford Council, and being based in Manchester, I thought it would be great if AQA could help out the local school children.

I approached my manager and our leadership team with the idea of repurposing our old laptops, and they were very supportive and only too happy to help. With a team of colleagues giving up their free time in evenings and at weekends, we were able to deliver the final batch of laptops last week and we’re very happy to hear they’re already on the way to the young people that need them.”

If you are interested in supporting Trafford Council’s Laptops for Learners initiative or have queries about the appeal, please email

Posted on Monday 22nd February 2021