This week we spoke to lifelong Middlesex member, Stephen Brown, who since January has been on a mission to raise funds, in order to provide schools across the country with laptops and tablets to assist disadvantaged young students with their home schooling.
Stephen, from Edgware, who is 53 today, is a Consultant to Estate and Letting Agents across the UK and has supported Middlesex since the seventies. His fundraising initiative and campaign stemmed from him listening to a House of Commons debate about the lack of laptops available to young students for home-schooling, which compelled him to act and do something about it.
Launching his Computers for Home Schooling campaign, he initially spoke with a network of Estate Agents about them setting up local campaigns in their communities and then created a Go Fund account, garnering support from a host of property suppliers he knows well in the industry – all with an ambition to raise £50,000 for essential IT equipment.
Some weeks on and the campaign has been a huge success to date, with the total now standing at over £57,000 raised, however, it's been anything but a straightforward journey that Stephen has been on since beginning to fundraise.
Whilst already having supplied schools with 363 laptops and tablets, as well as twelve WiFi dongles, the enormity of the problem and how widespread the shortage of equipment across the country became increasingly evident, with a realisation that there are a huge number of disadvantaged children who have no access to devices that would provide invaluable help with their education.
Tragically, throughout all this, Stephen has had personal grief to deal with, with his wife Sam recently passing away. Sam was a nursery Assistant who helped children to read, and Stephen has turned his terrible loss into a mission to help the cause to a much greater extent, with a new target of £200,000 set for IT hardware to provide learning opportunities to disadvantaged children nationwide.
With incredible support already from within the property industry, with donations received as high as £10,000 and an array of grateful schools already benefitting from his work, Stephen is confident that a continued focus on driving awareness for his campaign will continue to reap rewards, as he pushes on towards that £200,000 target.
As a lifelong Middlesex member, who is more than aware of the incredible work that the club's Participation Team continues to deliver into the communities across our boroughs, Stephen has already pledged 20 laptop or tablets to schools of Middlesex’s choice in the county, and we look forward to being able to donate these to local schools in the coming weeks.
Anyone wishing to support Stephen in this amazing campaign can do so by visiting his Go Fund page HERE to make a donation and help him continue the great work he has done already.