The Leidos team in Aberdeen, Scotland has donated 35 laptops to help two local charities and Aberdeen City Council’s education services team overcome challenges posed by Covid-19.
The science, technology and engineering company is donating 10 machines to support staff and young people at Charlie House. The centre, which supports young people with life limiting illnesses and their families, will use the laptops to support the charity’s operations and provide on-line support during the pandemic.
Five laptops will be donated to North East Rider Volunteers Scotland (NERVS), part of the National Association of Blood Bikes, which provides local health services with essential support by delivering vital items and medication between locations and to vulnerable people across the region. The charity has expanded its services to take nursing staff to and from work during the current crisis. The new laptops will be used by its volunteers to ensure its bikes are dispatched to the right places at the right times.
A further 20 laptops are being given to Aberdeen City Council who will distribute them to young people who are struggling to keep up with home schooling as they don’t have access to technology and online learning tools in their own homes.
Alf Michaelsen, who heads up Leidos’ Aberdeen office and is leading the initiative, said: “Charlie House and North East Rider Volunteers are two charities that are close to the hearts of our team and we are really pleased to be able to make this donation to support the valuable work they do.
“We are also aware of the challenges educational bodies face these days with a lot of children who don’t have the technology to keep up with their classmates with home schooling while in lockdown. Leidos is a keen supporter of educational activities, with a successful Early Careers programme, and donating these laptops for educational use is a natural extension of this.”
Leigh Ryrie, Children & Family Support Manager for Charlie House, said: “We are so grateful to the Leidos team for the very generous donation of 10 laptops and headsets to Charlie House. Now more than ever, we rely on our hardware and best tech to enable us to deliver our services virtually to the families we support, and this equipment will ensure that we can continue to do so.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Charlie House has seen an 84% increase in the request for support and a significant increase in our private on-line family page interaction, due to the majority of supported families self-isolating for several months.
“We are currently providing support for these families in the form of virtual group meets, virtual activities for the entire family such as bingo, storytelling, Makaton and song time, creating and producing sensory ‘how to’ videos to provide easy, specific therapeutic video content such as managing worries and fun activities in the home and also daily one-to-one virtual emotional support to parents. The laptops will be used for both staff and volunteers and at a time when our fundraising capacity has been hugely compromised, this donation is very gratefully received.”
Gillian Innes, Trustee of NERVS, said: “This extremely generous donation of IT equipment from Leidos will enable us to ensure we have the best possible solutions to run our volunteer organisation as securely and productively as possible.
“The Covid 19 pandemic has presented the group with some new challenges and has impacted the way in which we raise funds and adapt our way of working to keep our volunteers as safe as possible. With the support shown by Leidos we now have the tools to provide our much needed medical delivery service to local health services for free with up to date technology.”
Councillor John Wheeler, Aberdeen City Council’s Education Operational Delivery Convener, added: “ This is a marvellous gesture by Leidos and complements the great work our Education Service is doing in ensuring that pupils without home wifi access are supplied with laptop with laptops and dongles so that they can participate in online learning during the current lockdown.
“As an authority, one of our key ambitions is to provide children and young people with the best possible starts in life regardless of any disadvantages they may face so my sincere thanks go to Leidos in helping us support this aim.”
The Leidos team in Aberdeen leads and supports a number of the company’s programmes across oil and gas and the Scottish public sector. The Fortune 500 company headquartered in Reston, Virginia, also has offices in Glasgow, London, Whiteley, Farnborough and Bristol.