Digital Drive logo


At the start of the global pandemic, around 8,000 children and young people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough did not have a laptop or PC and over 3,000 did not have access to the internet at home to enable them to access lessons and online resources; support from their teachers; or even interact with their classmates.

In partnership, Cambridge 2030, Cambridgeshire County Council, Peterborough City Council, the Cambs Youth Panel and Cambridge Digital Partnership, and Cambridgeshire Culture Foundation launched the Digital Drive Cambridgeshire and Peterborough campaign to find 8,000 laptops and provide internet access so that every single child across our county can access their school work at home. The second-hand laptops donated through the campaign became the child/young person’s own to keep. Cash donations purchased laptops and internet access where were donated to schools for immediate onward loan to families with children who needed them.

In the first few months of the Digital Drive:

  • over £567,000 was raised;

  • 3,000 laptops – new and repurposed – were donated

  • 460 routers were distributed.



Search your drawers, cupboards and desks and donate all unused laptops. Please check your laptops against the minimum specification below to ensure they are viable. If you aren’t sure if your laptop meets the minimum specification, please donate it anyway!


Make a financial donation. You can do this in one of two ways:

1.  Through Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council’s joint Go Fund Me page - all donations made via this portal will go towards purchasing new laptops and securing internet access and data for children and young people who do not currently have internet access at home. Internet access for each child costs around £40, plus £20/month for unlimited data. A laptop suitable for student use costs approximately £325. Cambridgeshire’s ICT Service (Education) will carry out the procurement exercise to ensure best price is achieved through Education discount schemes.

2.  Direct to Cambs Youth Panel through their Go Fund Me page – all donations will go towards tools and technology needed to refurbish donated devices which will then be donated to children and young people who need them.


Purchase and donate an item or items from the Cambs Youth Panel’s Amazon Wish List – these items are all needed for the refurbishment of donated laptops. The Wish List can be accessed here:


Volunteer your time and/or expertise. The Cambs Youth Panel continues to need skilled computer technicians, with current DBS Checks, to help the team with laptop refurbishment in Peterborough, Huntingdon, Wisbech, Ely and Cambridge.

The campaign also needs volunteer drivers to collect laptops and deliver them firstly for refurbishment and then on to the schools where they are needed.


  • 1.8ghz processor

  • 4gb RAM

  • Windows pre-Vista operating systems are not viable (Vista forward only please)

  • Pre-SATA 3 technology not viable (pre-2009)

  • Please do not donate your laptop if it does not power on, has a leaking battery, electrical fault or a broken screen

  • It will be presumed that you have removed all sensitive data from your laptop hard drive.All hard drives will be removed and sent for destruction by Veritas in compliance with GDPR. If you wish to keep your hard drive, please remove it prior to donation as it cannot be returned. By donating your computer you are giving permission to us to remove and wipe your data. All hard drives will be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way that is compliant with WEEE (2013). If you have any questions, please visit the Cambs Youth Panel website:

  • While iPads and tablets may be donated they will not enable effective home working so may be distributed for use in primary schools

You'll be in good company

Cambridge 2030’s ambassador is Julie Spence OBE QPM His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire. The Committee members of Cambridge 2030 are Gavin Howard, Simon Humphrey, Jonathan Martin, Tariq Sadiq and Alison Taylor.

Organisations involved in consultation to establish Cambridge 2030 include:

  • Cambridge County Council
  • Cambridge City Council
  • NHS
  • Cambridge Citizen’s Advice
  • Arm
  • Marshall
  • Conscious Communications
  • Howard Group
  • Cambridge Commons
  • Cambridge Ahead
  • Cambridge Network
  • Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust and Cambridge Area Partnership
  • Cambridge Academic Partnership
  • Stephen Perse Foundation
  • Fullscope
  • Allia
  • Form the Future
  • Cambridge United Community Trust
  • Cambridge Community Arts
  • Red Balloon
  • Cambridge Citizen’s Advice
  • YMCA
  • It Takes a City
  • Centre33
  • CoFarm