Cambridgeshire Freemasons are helping to provide children with Raspberry Pi computers through the ‘Digital Drive Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’ initiative
The original request came from Provincial Grand Master Bill Dastur in a message to all Cambridgeshire Freemasons on 15th February and within a little over a week, his original target of 45 computers has been exceeded and there are several more donations still to come.
Bill Dastur of the Cambridgeshire Freemasons said: 'The Digital Drive initiative is a fantastic county-wide appeal addressing a serious need for young people in Cambridgeshire. I am proud and overwhelmed by the swift and generous response from our members following my appeal to them just a few days ago. Charity is one of our core values and I hope our donations will make a significant difference to their education.'
In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, more than 8000 children and young people do not have laptops or PCs to enable them to access lessons, online resources, receive support from their teachers or interact with their classmates. Digital Drive are working in partnership with Cambridgeshire County Council, Peterborough City Council, the Cambs Youth Panel, Cambridge Digital Partnership, and Cambridge 2030 to make sure that every child across our county can access their schoolwork at home.
Phil Priestly of the Cambs Youth Panel said: 'The Digital Drive is an essential part of eliminating the problem of digital inequality that we have in our region. The contribution of Cambridgeshire Freemasons is an incredible support towards what we are doing – both in terms of recycling previously owned equipment and in purchasing brand new computers for children and young people. The COVID-19 pandemic has really highlighted the depth of digital inequality in our region. The good will and the community spirit that has been displayed in this response is remarkable and uplifting for everyone involved.'
The Pi 400 is the newest model from Raspberry Pi. The whole unit is built into the keyboard and comes with a matching mouse. It can connect into any standard screen via a HDMI cable. If screens are not available at home, then these can also be provided.