EVERY living Prime Minister backs Mail bid to help lockdown children

Six Prime Ministers in laptops plea: In their own moving and personal words, how EVERY living premier, past and present, backs Mail Force campaign to help lockdown children

  • In an unprecedented show of support, Sir John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May have joined Boris Johnson to back campaign
  • Development came as total raised has now reached an incredible £6.9million
  • Sir John Major has described campaign as ‘a beacon of light in darkest of times’ 

All five living former prime ministers last night joined Boris Johnson in backing Mail Force’s Computers for Kids campaign.

In an unprecedented show of support, Sir John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May lauded the drive to help pupils carry on learning during lockdown.

Every inhabitant of No 10 from the past three decades has now backed the initiative – a first for any newspaper campaign.

The development came as Daily Mail readers’ generosity sent the total raised to an incredible £6.9million.

Sir John, who succeeded Margaret Thatcher in 1990 and led the country until 1997, described the fundraising effort as a ‘beacon of light’ in the ‘darkest of times’.

‘I am delighted to support the Daily Mail’s campaign, not least since – so many years ago – I and my friends of those days would have been amongst the children in need of such equipment,’ he said.

Families receive tablets and keyboards for pupils at Moston Fields Primary School, Manchester

‘My parents would have wanted to help and been hurt and embarrassed that – since they could not – my education might suffer.

‘Today, no parent should be forced to feel that way and no child in the UK should be put at a disadvantage because of the financial circumstances of their family.’

Tony Blair, who spent a decade in Downing Street from 1997 to 2007, said the campaign ‘highlights a burning issue – the digital divide which is continuing to impact children’s education’.

‘I fear that unless this becomes an absolute priority it will have a devastating impact on young people’s lives and life chances,’ he added.

‘Getting laptops to those who need them for lockdown learning is a matter of urgency. I wish this campaign every success in delivering for them.’

His successor, Gordon Brown, congratulated Daily Mail readers and businesses for working together to make a success of the ‘path-breaking’ crusade to deliver laptops to lockdown pupils who need them.

‘Every child is special, unique and precious, and in the 21st century their right to education must mean having a computer to learn from and access to the internet,’ he said.

Sharing his own personal experience, David Cameron said: ‘As a parent, I know how challenging home schooling during lockdown can be – all the more so if pupils don’t have the necessary computer equipment to access lessons and resources, or are having to compete with siblings and parents for time online.’

For as little as £15, a laptop has its memory securely wiped and it is rebuilt for the classroom by our IT specialist partner. The Mail Force charity will also use funds to buy new devices

Mr Cameron, who was PM from 2010 to 2016, added: ‘I commend the Mail Force Computers for Kids campaign and thank everyone who has pledged their support. This will make an invaluable difference during these most difficult times, so I urge everyone who can to support the campaign.’

Theresa May expressed her belief that ‘everyone must be given the chance in life to go as far as their talents will take them’.

She added: ‘Providing children with the education they need is a vital part of that and I congratulate the Mail on this important and collaborative campaign, working with Government to make sure our most vulnerable children have the equipment they need to help them realise their full potential.’

Mr Johnson last week thanked the Daily Mail and its readers for ‘stepping up’ to support the efforts to get laptops to children with what he described as ‘another fantastic campaign’.

The newspaper has been raising funds for Mail Force’s Computers for Kids initiative, which aims to help prevent pupils falling further behind.

Companies are donating old laptops they no longer use. For around £15, these can be made fit for home schooling.

Last year, Mail Force donated 42million items of PPE to the NHS, care homes and charity sector front lines. The campaign won a public service award and the Mail was hailed for holding the Government to account at the same time as helping to solve the problem.

Sir John Major

I am delighted to support the Daily Mail’s campaign.

So many years ago, I would have been among the children in need. My parents would have wanted to help, and been hurt and embarrassed that – since they could not – my education might suffer.

Today no parent should be forced to feel that way.

One single donation could transform a young life… every child who receives this lifeline will forever remember that our nation has a generosity of spirit which provides a beacon of hope for all.

Tony Blair  

The pandemic has had many terrible consequences, and this campaign highlights a burning issue – the digital divide which is impacting children’s education.

Laptops and connectivity are absolutely essential for remote learning so that no child is left behind.

Unless this becomes an absolute priority it will have a devastating impact on young people’s life chances.

Getting laptops to those who need them for lockdown learning is a matter of urgency.

I wish this campaign every success in delivering for them. 

Gordon Brown

‘Congratulations are owed to the Mail for this pathbreaking initiative to help

‘Britain’s one million children who are without a computer today.

‘Every child is unique and precious, and in the 21st century their right to education must mean having a computer to learn from and access to the internet.

‘I want the country to come together and join with the Daily Mail in guaranteeing that in 2021 every single child will have the chance to learn online free of charge with the up-to-date computer they need.’

David Cameron

‘As a parent I know how challenging home schooling during lockdown can be – all the more so if pupils don’t have the computer equipment to access lessons and resources, or are having to compete with siblings and parents for time online.

‘I commend the Mail Force Computers for Kids campaign and thank everyone who has pledged their support.

‘This will make an invaluable difference during these most difficult times, so I urge everyone who can to support it.’

Theresa May

I’ve always said that everyone must be given the chance in life to go as far as their talents will take them.

Providing children with the education they need is a vital part of that, and I congratulate the Mail on this important and collaborative campaign, working with Government to make sure our most vulnerable children have the equipment they need to help them realise their full potential.

Boris Johnson

We are doing everything we can to support children and young people to learn from home while their classrooms are closed.

Making sure they have the right technology to get online is vital, which is why we’ve provided over a million laptops and devices to schools across the country so far.

At this challenging time everyone can do their bit to help and I’d like to thank the Mail and its readers for stepping up to support our efforts with another fantastic campaign.

HOW TO DONATE TO COMPUTERS FOR KIDS 

CLICK HERE TO DONATE 

TO YOU, THE READER: How to send us donations 

The Daily Mail has launched a brand new campaign, Computers For Kids, to raise money for Mail Force – a charity which aims to provide much needed school equipment and resources for pupils across the UK learning from home.

With schools closed, we are left with the dilemma of hundreds of thousands of pupils in the UK having no access to a computer in their home.

As part of this campaign, companies are donating their old laptops which, for around £15, can be wiped, professionally refurbished and made safe and fit for home schooling. They can then be delivered to a child or young person who needs one.

In addition, the campaign is looking to support children’s needs in other ways such as funding brand new laptops and tablets, and assisting with data access and connectivity for online learning. Any surplus funds will be used to support of the work of UK schools via other means.

TO MAKE A DONATION ONLINE

Visit mailforcecharity.co.uk/donate and follow the steps to complete your donation. 

Please don’t send us your old device.

TO MAKE A DONATION VIA YOUR PHONE

To donate £10 – text KIDS10 to 70115

To donate £20 – text KIDS20 to 70115 

TO COMPANIES: Could you give your old laptops?

Upgrading office computers is something all companies do from time to time – and there has never been a better time to donate old laptops. If you are a company with 50 laptops or more that you could give, please visit www.computacenter.com/daily-mail to check they are suitable and register your donation. We will arrange for collection by our specialist partners Computacenter. Please note: we cannot accept donated laptops from individuals.

COMPANIES SHOULD GO TO: computacenter.com/daily-mail 

TO SCHOOLS: Where to apply for the computers

Schools must apply to the Department for Education, which is managing the demand and prioritising the schools most in need. The Mail Force initiative means more laptops will become available more quickly.

SCHOOLS CAN APPLY HERE: https://get-help-with-tech.education.gov.uk

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