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Caithness decommissioning business donates IT equipment to help local families


By Alan Hendry

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GDES commercial manager Gary Stronach presenting one of the new Chromebooks to Liz and Dave Kerr of Budding Engineers CIC, with GDES operations manager Colin Lehardy (right) looking on.
GDES commercial manager Gary Stronach presenting one of the new Chromebooks to Liz and Dave Kerr of Budding Engineers CIC, with GDES operations manager Colin Lehardy (right) looking on.

A local decommissioning business has donated a range of computer equipment to help youngsters in Caithness with their digital learning.

GD Energy Services Ltd, based at Naver Business Centre in Thurso, handed over seven new Lenovo Chromebooks, worth more than £2000, to Budding Engineers – a community interest company (CIC) that supports primary and secondary pupils with concepts such as 3D design and Computer-Aided Design.

GDES also provided some used IT equipment for refurbishment.

The new devices, along with the refurbished items, will be issued to families in need in the county to allow children to take part in their schools' online learning programmes.

GDES employs more than 50 people in Caithness.

Commercial manager Gary Stronach and operations manager Colin Lehardy presented the Chromebooks and other kit to Dave and Liz Kerr, local representatives of Budding Engineers CIC.

Mr Stronach said: "The company likes to do things locally because we feel it is right, and all our employees are members of the community.

"We had heard about this idea of donating laptops. We were put in touch with Dave Kerr, so we had a chat with him.”

As well as buying the set of seven Chromebooks, GDES was happy to donate some of its surplus IT kit so that it could be given a new lease of life.

“We had four old PCs and a selection of monitors that were spare," Mr Stronach said.

“Budding Engineers send stuff all over the Highlands but we've specifically asked for our devices to be given to local families in Caithness.

"The company's ethos is that we are a local company and we will do the best we can to support the local community."

He added: "Budding Engineers are a means to get these things to the kids that will benefit from them.

"At the moment there's online schooling going on while we're in lockdown and parents are working from home, but moving forward a lot of the kids in different years are having to do homework electronically.

"Also, because a lot of parents are now working from home, they're trying to do home schooling and work on the same device – you can't do everything on a smartphone.”


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