Fernhurst Centre's appeal for donations for charity

A woman who grew up in Fernhurst is joining forces with the Fernhurst Centre, the internet hub and community centre, to launch an appeal for laptops, mobile phones and other items for recycling.

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The centre, which offers IT and many other courses, began collecting unwanted items of IT equipment as a service to the community in 2014 and since then has sent over 250 items for for recycling or environmentally friendly disposal.

Laura Plant, who grew up in Fernhurst and works for the climate change and sustainability department of PWC Price Waterhouse Coopers, contacted the centre on behalf of Sparkle Malawi, a charity set up four years ago improve the future of children and families in a group of villages on the outskirts of Zomba, Malawi.

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Laura, 25, made a working visit in 2015 to a village primary school which is supported both financially and through a mentoring scheme by Sparkle.

The charity has recently installed solar panels which one of the only sources of power in this remote area.

Laura said: “Sparkle is collecting laptops and mobile phones to use in teaching the community additional skills and enable the children, who are full of enthusiasm to learn and to grasp new technology but lack access to it, to aspire to jobs beyond the traditional mud brick making and farming. By donating unwanted equipment in this way, people can make a real difference to these children’s lives at no cost to themselves and with the added bonus of sparing the environment another piece of discarded IT equipment.”

Laptops and mobile phones need to be functioning and donated with the charger, all personal data will be wiped from the electrical items by industry approved company, SIMS Recycling Solutions.

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The laptops will then be loaded with up to date software kindly donated by Microsoft and sent in a container to Malawi in August.

Sparkle is seeking to help the local families become self sufficient by providing them with ways of making income so that they can pay local school fees rather than relying on charitable support. One programme is to train family members with tailoring skills and loan them a sewing machine.The charity is appealing for donations of old sewing machines both electric and non electric .

Gillian Kisch, a Dunsfold resident, has donated her 1936 hand operated Singer sewing machine. She said: “It was my mother’s sewing machine and is in perfect working order but has been gathering dust for 30 years, I am delighted that it can be put to good use in this way.”

To donate laptops, phones or sewing machines, contact [email protected] or 01428 641931.

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