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Football ace Emile Heskey is helping an innovative new programme hit the back of the net by spearheading the installation of free laptops for disadvantaged children.
Launched at four schools across London, LG Electronics UK's Laptop Libraryprogramme supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with free access to state-of-the-art technology to improve their digital education experience.
As part of the programme, LG has donated LG gram laptops to each school and equipped them with a portable and secure store and charge solution which students can use to book out laptops for use at school or home – specifically to support 1-1 mentoring sessions.
And as a special treat to the students of Wapping High School to mark the programme launch, England legend and father of seven Heskey was present to unveil the library and give a motivational talk to the students on the importance of education in setting up the foundations for a bright future.
Former Liverpool and Leicester star Heskey, 43, said: “With seven children of my own currently in education I can fully appreciate how vital the latest technology is in ensuring a seamless and effective school learning experience.
"School education is so important in setting yourself up for the future, and I feel we sometimes take things like laptops for granted when there are some children that simply don’t have access, so I’m really pleased to help launch this brilliant programme from LG and ReachOut."
Launched in collaboration with ReachOut – a leading UK charity that supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with weekly one-to-one mentoring, helping develop character, raise aspirations, and improve academic attainment – around 2,600 children are set to benefit from the initiative across the four schools.
The four schools are Wapping High School, Uphall Primary School, The Totteridge Academy, and Highlands School, with plans to expand the initiative nationwide and donate LG Laptop Libraries to more schools in 2022 and beyond.
Hanju Kim, IT Product Director at LG Electronics UK said: “With children back for the 2021/22 school year and considering the new, more flexible way of working that the world has adopted, a laptop has become a necessity for children in education.
"However, an Ofcom report from 2020 estimates that between 1m and 1.8m children in the UK do not have access to a laptop at home.
"The data is shocking, and it must be incredibly tough for some students to keep up without access to proper technology.
"With our Laptop Library programme, we hope to have a positive impact on the lives of these young people, each of whom deserves a future as bright as anyone else’s.”
Bejal Shah, CEO of ReachOut, added: “Whilst almost every young person has had to adjust to dramatic changes in their home life, education and routine, for those who were already marginalised, the challenges of the pandemic have often been greater.
"ReachOut are thrilled to be partnering with LG Electronics UK on the Laptop Libraries programme, that will provide these young people that we support, with access to our weekly mentoring sessions, and to the resources that will boost their learning and in turn, improve their long-term outcomes.”
The Laptop Libraries feature state-of-the-art ultra-lightweight LG gram laptops which are ideal for students and professionals alike. With up to 19.5 hours of battery life, weighing just 1,350g, and featuring an 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 CPU, they provide power and portability for all.