Some of the donated devices ready for refurbishment

Following the recent Urgent Appeal for Computer Equipmentfor young people who are missing out on online learning due to a lack of equipment.  Martin Ross, Rochdale District Freemasons Communications Officer, set up a scheme to accept and refurbish old laptops and tablets. He will then arrange to distribute them to local schools.

Within 24 hours, Martin has received 25 devices from around the local community and with the help of Nigel Foran at Tech Direct computer repairs, as well as a small team of Freemason volunteers, have been clearing all personal data and updating the devices with new operating systems.

Martin Ross working to refurbish and update operating systems

Working to get the devices out to schools and to the young people in need as quickly as possible, Martin and the small team of volunteers have already distributed 4 laptops and tablets to St Josephs RC Primary Academy in Todmorden.

John Sutcliffe from St Josephs said “We cannot thank Martin enough for organising this tech drive and to those who have donated IT equipment. These donations mean that all of our students can access online learning during this lockdown and will have long term access to online resources.”

Martin Ross distributing 4 devices to John Sutcliffe from
St Josephs RC Primary Academy

Doug Smith, Rochdale Freemasons District Chair said, “The Coronavirus Pandemic highlighted the digital divide that exists between those young people who have their own computer and those who do not have any access to one at home at all. Quick reaction campaigns and action like this will make a massive difference to young people in our community.”

To donate a laptop or tablet to the scheme, please complete the donation form at and one of our volunteers will be in touch to arrange collection

Press contact – Martin Ross
Rochdale District Freemasons Communications Officer