Anglo American buys 40 laptops to help Whitby students during lockdown
Anglo American, the owners of the Woodsmith Mine near Sneaton, funded the purchase of 40 new laptops for school children in the two Whitby secondary schools last month.
Caedmon College Whitby and Eskdale School received the funding after finding that emergency government support for lockdown learning was not sufficient to cover their students’ needs.
They approached North Yorkshire County Council who got in touch with Anglo American.
Since the implementation of the third national lockdown, both schools have only been open to vulnerable children and children of keyworkers, so the majority of students have been learning at home via an online platform.
Simon Riley, Principal at Caedmon College, said: “Many families simply can’t afford to buy a new laptop or chromebook for their child, or it has to be shared with other family members; some were having to make do with phones.
“So when another lockdown and further school closures were announced and numbers of government issued laptops were not sufficient, we had to look for alternative sources.”
Both schools had worked with the team from the Woodsmith Project before on STEM initiatives and pupil work experience programmes and were delighted to learn that Anglo American were willing to help out.
Andy Fyfe, Head of Eskdale School, said: “We are really lucky to have Anglo American on our doorstep.
“To have such a big company here in Whitby demonstrating a commitment to our young people provides a bit of hope for the future.
"I’m looking forward to continuing to work closely with them to show our pupils that there are opportunities for good careers in Whitby from the likes of Anglo American, despite the difficulties of recent times.”
Anglo American’s Woodsmith Project is being built off the B1416 near Sneaton.
All mine infrastructure is being sunk beneath the surface and shielded by woodland so that, once complete, it will blend into the landscape and not be visible from the outside.
A 23-mile long transportation tunnel will take the extracted polyhalite ore to Teesside for processing and shipping, avoiding any impact on the countryside above.
From there, it will be shipped around the world and sold to farmers as a natural low carbon fertiliser, suitable for organic farming.
Gareth Edmunds, External Affairs Director at Anglo American, said: “We understand how difficult and frustrating the lockdown has been for everyone, particularly for students to keep up with their schoolwork.
“Helping young people overcome barriers to learning and good career opportunities is a major part of the community work we’re doing.
"We are delighted to be able to help the students in Whitby to do that with this initiative.”
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