‚Äč"Have you tried turning it off and on again?"

Paddy Mooney from Include Youth with Philip Blair from Connswater Homes
Paddy Mooney from Include Youth with Philip Blair from Connswater Homes

From smashing through ICT Essential Skills qualifications to producing 60 words per minute CVs, we have up to 90 laptops on the go by young people on our employability programmes at any one time.

Usually there's a melodic thumping of fingers on keyboards across our sites as job applications are thrashed out (house music blasted out) and English assignments bashed out. Then everything goes quiet. The laptops all plot together and break at a time when funding is particularly tight.

Old age coupled with a lot of use means our laptops might be better suited to the Computer History Museum or skip.

Yes, we have tried turning them off and on again, many many many times and still nothing. Repairs aren't cheap and replacements aren't possible, which is why we are so grateful to the team at Connswater Homes for donating three laptops to us this week.

We had approached CO3 a few weeks back to see if they might put out a call to their members asking if anyone might be able to help. Very quickly the folk from Connswater Homes got in touch to say they would be more than happy to donate three laptops, which they handed over to us this week.

Laptops are used by young people on our Give and Take Scheme to improve their literacy and numeracy skills and broader employability aptitudes. So we are so grateful for the donations received to date and just want to say a huge 01110100 01101000 01100001 01101110 01101011 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101.

We're still in need of a few more laptops - so contact Jackie on 028 9031 1007 if you think you might be able to help.