ITVET’s campaign to recycle laptops for school kids gets a BBC boost

News Highlights: ITVET’s campaign to recycle laptops for school kids gets a BBC boost.

A community-based company in Bishop’s Stortford comes to the rescue of families in need by providing refurbished laptops for homeschooling.

The staff of the technology company ITVET, in London Road, drove to Northampton and Aylesbury to collect donated devices before reporting and passing them on to schools.

Their campaign was featured on BBC Look East last Friday and resulted in offers of 550 old laptops – and now Indie readers can get involved by delivering devices to our North Street office.

itvet, London Road, Bishop’s Stortford. The company has collected and repurposed unwanted laptops for homeschooling children. lr: Grace Emery (Customer Service Advisor), Janet Conboy (Senior Compliance Manager), Dominic Webb (Senior Escalation Manager), James Ellams (Senior Project Manager), Euan Browne (Deployment Engineer), Daryl Fuller (Corporate Director). Photo: Vikki Lince. (44132754)

ITVET is trying to meet the huge demand for equipment as students struggle to keep up with their school at home because they don’t have access to their own desktop computer, laptop or digital tablet.

Richard Fountain, the director of ITVET, began calling for the donation of unwanted laptops in November, and his team has since refurbished devices and passed them on to local schools.

“We’ve had a busy weekend – it’s been pretty hectic,” he said after the company’s appearance on the regional TV news.

“The staff has performed fantastically in their own time.”

itvet, London Roadl, Bishop’s Stortford. The company has collected and reused unwanted laptops for homeschooling children. Euan Browne (deployment engineer) and James Ellams (senior project manager) with bags and bags containing donated laptops. This is not all close by. Photo: Vikki Lince. (44132756)

A woman who offered her own laptop turned to friends and neighbors for devices, and when Richard came to pick up hers, she gave him a dozen computers.

Laptops are vital for so many students who are forced to switch to distance learning during the third lockdown; Birchwood High School in Stortford has called on ITVET for 180 laptops.

Schools are legally obliged to give children who must stay at home access to distance education. The Department for Education pledged to provide every child in years 3-11 with laptops with free school meals that don’t have one, but a major shortage remains.

IT VET, London Road, Bishops Stortford. Exterior. Photo: Vikki Lince. (44107264)

And Richard says the problem goes even deeper. “Some parents are not in the lower income bracket, but they are still struggling and too proud to ask for help, and they are flying under the radar,” he said.

It costs ITVET to fix the laptops – in addition to staff costs, the team may need to replace broken parts.

They’re also aiming to install new, fast hard drives in every refurbished laptop, so they launched a £ 5,000 online call that has fetched £ 1,400 so far.

“It makes them faster and means we can turn them around much faster,” said Richard.

“Each ride costs us £ 20. We had funded these ourselves, but decided to try to scale up volumes by asking for donations.

“For every £ 20 donated, a student receives a refurbished laptop with a new hard drive.”

Laptops can be dropped off at the ITVET office, at 93 London Road, weekdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, as well as the Indie office, at 12 North Street, weekdays between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm – so far the editorial staff has two old laptops received.

Visit for more information or See to donate to his campaign


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