A PARLEY Cricket Club player is making the most of the time lost at the crease by raising money and donating laptops, so underprivileged children do not get left behind while schools remain closed.
Rob Franks started donating unwanted laptops to schools after hearing from his teacher wife how schools struggle to provide families with devices for home-learning.
Former AFC-Bournemouth manager and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! winner Harry Redknapp has endorsed his altruistic endeavour by sending Rob a personal message of support, while Call The Midwife actor Stephen McGann donated a £1,000.
Franks played for Middlesex disability county cricket team after having his leg amputated when his femur shattered as he returned to cricket after having two tumours removed from his leg in 2011 and 2013.
Franks, who captains Parley CC’s fourth team, said: “Up and down the country so many schools are struggling to supply underprivileged families with a device to use for homeschooling. The pressure on schools at this time is massive, and it will only get harder for teachers to help children catch up when they eventually get back to school, so having a device for home learning is a vital tool.
“A lot of families are unable to afford devices for homeschooling due to living below the breadline or losing jobs due to the pandemic. The government have promised laptops, but nothing seems to come of it, unfortunately.
“My wife Carla is a teacher, so I know first-hand how hard it is for schools to supply devices to parents to allow their children to continue education. I’ve made it my mission to try and raise as much money as possible to purchase laptops and tablets to give to as many families as I can and to help those in genuine need.”
His GoFundMe page has raised more than £6,000 so far, and his campaign has seen over 28 laptops donated to schools.
Rob, 42, added: “So far I’ve managed to collect more than 28 laptops that were gathering dust. That means 28 children who previously couldn’t learn at home now can – and that is just fantastic.
“Unfortunately, that’s just the tip of an enormous iceberg. So many children still don’t have a device to continue learning, and I want that to change. I know how hard things are for people during this awful time, but if you can spare a few pounds to help a child learn, then I would be forever grateful.
“As soon as we have enough money, I will start purchasing laptops and tablets to give directly to schools.”
Rob said he was looking at buying reconditioned devices, which cost between £60 to £70 each.