Padiham-based computer recycling and refurbishment company, Rapid IT, have donated two laptops to Burnley Boys and Girls Club (BBGC) following their recent opening of a new club in Whalley.

The donation came following former Rapid IT employee, Linda Szafar, getting in touch with her former employer and informing them of the new Youth Club that her grandson planned to attend.

Given Rapid IT’s hugely successful Tech 4 All Kids campaign which has seen the firm donate laptops to schools across Lancashire, a suggestion was made that BBGC might benefit from some new technology.

Chris Stevenson, Rapid IT’s Customer Experience Director, said: “When Linda alerted us to the new Youth Club in Whalley, we immediately wanted to do whatever we could to offer support.

“Our Tech 4 All Kids campaign has made a real difference to the pupils of the schools we’ve donated hardware to, and it was clear this donation could have a similar impact. When we approached them, BBGC told us they’d be delighted with one laptop, but the work they do is so great, so we gave them two.”

Graham Vernon is the Centre Manager for both the Burnley and the new Whalley Club and explained how beneficial the donation has been: “Whalley had been experiencing some anti-social behaviour during the various lockdowns which is why we wanted to set up the club in the first place.

“The laptops have provided the opportunity for us to do more with the children than we had previously been able to do.

“Rather than just playing games on them, our young people have been developing our website, creating social media posts on the Club’s behalf, and learning to do all the back-end work that a charity like ours would never otherwise have the resource for.

“It’s been a delight to watch them become more adept at creating files and documents and generally keeping the machines organised. It’s required them to do some research as the know-how hasn’t always been there, but this in itself is an important life skill as they work out what makes a reliable source and what doesn’t.

“We joke that our young people in Whalley and Burnley are now running BBGC like a proper organisation with these laptops, but in actual fact, that’s exactly what they’re doing.”

“BBGC also works with young people involved in the Kickstart Scheme, and they too have been using the laptops to develop vital, long-lasting IT skills. It’s amazing to think that the two devices Rapid IT donated are making such a positive impact on so many young lives and for BBGC as a charity.”

Burnley Boys and Girls Club was founded in 1898, and their new centre, based at Whalley Abbey opened on April 12, welcoming children aged 8 to 18.