Spanning the ‘digital divide’


While Rye Mutual Aid (RMA) continues to support the vulnerable in 21 zones from Westfield to Camber, and to provide information to help people get through Covid lockdowns, from time to time we have taken on additional projects to help the community.

These have included the effort in Rye and District to distribute face coverings, provide toys at Christmas and out of school term time lunches, arrange on line cookery events, and even by finding a freezer for someone who badly needed one!

However, since hearing more about the “digital divide” from national news and Rother Voluntary Action, RMA set about finding computers for local schoolchildren who have no IT learning support. Through contacts with the schools in the area we established what was needed and we then spent time looking at what was necessary before second hand machines were suitable for handing to children, and at who was going to prepare the hard drives and PAT test the electrics.

This all took time and effort and concurrently, there was fundraising, securing grants and accepting some generous individual donations. Around 42 second hand machines were collected in and then supplemented with 12 purchased computers and in all RMA has amassed some 54 computers.

These are being distributed to schools in the villages, and to Rye Primary and Rye College. In such a short time, most will agree that this is a good effort and one that can be built on for future supply. Special thanks must go to Caroline, Jenny and Bruni of the RMA Central Team.

All of us at RMA ask that if anyone has surplus computers, pads or gaming machines, then do please contact us via the website or Facebook page. We will ensure that any equipment donated is quickly processed via the schools to children who need them. Help us to help local young people who need computers for distance learning.

Image Credits: RMA .


  1. Congratulations to all the team at RMA, what a fantastic result. Everyone needs supporting in one way or another at the moment, particluarly the elderly and vulnerable but it’s also great to see that the younger generation havent been forgotten about. Well done everyone, we are all indebted to RMA for leading by example.

  2. We sincerely thank Rye Mutual Aid and all those in the community who have donated hardware. We are seeing technology profoundly change the relationship between home and school – and whilst we appear to move on ‘in leaps and bounds’ we must ensure no-one is left behind. The internet has the potential to be a great leveller but without access we will see the ‘digital divide’ open yet wider. Work like this is much valued by the children, teachers and leaders of our schools. It’s truly making a difference to lives of our young people – thank you again.

  3. What an amazing achievement by Rye Mutual Aid getting things organised and to all those who donated too! It’s so important for all of us to continue to help those in need and this will certainly give those youngsters a well needed boost!

  4. Well done to Rye Mutual Aid in supporting action in the local community. Covid 19 has had a devastating effect on children’s education. Whilst many pupils have been able to access online learning and support from their schools during Lockdown, there are too many who have not received this because they do not have the necessary IT equipment. Please help by donating your old laptop or tablet.

  5. Follow up… I have just learned the college has given out no less that one hundred and eleven (yes! 111) devices across all year groups to date. Furthermore, they are currently bidding for further devices from various sources as the need remains.
    The college would like to express how grateful they are for the contribution made by Rye Mutual Aid. I’m also aware of Sally Hill (Business Manager at the college) doing great work in taking the lead and working with RMA to access devices and put them into the hands of families that really need them at this time.


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