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Big-hearted staff at international accounting and advisory firm Mazars have been raising money for laptops to help London’s most disadvantaged students get online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company has pledged its support to Laptops4Learners, a campaign run by Capital City College Group (CCCG), and saw staff join in various online activities as part of its Back to School fundraiser.

CCCG is the capital’s largest college group and comprises City and Islington College, Westminster Kingsway College, the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London and apprenticeship provider Capital City College Training.

Laptops4Learners is asking businesses and the community to donate laptops and raise funds to help students study online with many lessons having to be taught remotely.

Students have had to access online lessons and complete assignments at home during lockdown, with courses still requiring some remote learning this academic year. Many come from the bottom three bands of social deprivation with some having to watch lessons and do coursework on their mobile phones, while others have no technology at all.

WestKing student Jada Murray-Hutchison, 17, from Enfield, who received money for a laptop earlier this year, said: “I had to do presentations on my phone because I didn’t have a computer, and it was really hard and overwhelming as well.

“Now that I have a laptop, I’m able to research and complete all my assignments. It’s really made a difference.”

The Back to School fundraiser aimed to raise funds for schools and colleges who need extra help supporting disadvantaged pupils and students during the pandemic. The event ran from 12-16 October and saw staff host and participate in a wide range of activities such as baking, juggling, drawing, forensics and exercise classes

Harriet Walker, Sustainability Executive at Mazars, said: “It’s been great fun taking part in the Back to School fundraiser, learning how to juggle, draw and gaining an insight into the world of forensic investigations, all for a worthwhile cause.”

CCCG has already invested heavily in laptops and wi-fi equipment for students with the support of some Government funding but more money is needed.

Roy O’Shaughnessy, CEO of CCCG, said: “Throughout lockdown we provided laptops to students, and even though we have moved to classroom learning wherever possible this academic year there will still be a strong element of remote learning and a need for more laptops.

“This is a really big challenge for us, and we are delighted that Mazars has given its support to our Laptops4Learners campaign to help our students get online to complete their studies and get the digital skills they need for the modern workplace.”

Click here to find out more about Laptops4Learners and make a donation.