Clwyd West MS Darren Millar has praised pupils and staff at a Colwyn Bay High School for acquiring hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of second-hand office furniture and equipment for use in schools across Wales.
Ysgol Bryn Elian is the flagship school in Wales in the ‘Business2Schools’ initiative, which encourages businesses to donate unwanted office furniture and technology for use in schools.
So far, the school have received 370 PCs, 70 laptops, 50 computer chairs, 25 tables, 100 conference room chairs, 120 monitors, and a range of sofas.
These items have been donated by the likes of The Ombudsman, Barclays, Warner Bros, and the BBC.
From this, Ysgol Bryn Elian have been able to make improvements not only to their school, but also to the schools in their catchment, plus Prestatyn High School, Ysgol Eirias, and Ysgol Caergybi.
They are aiming to ensure that every child has access to their own laptop at home through the scheme too.
Last week, Darren visited Ysgol Bryn Elian's 'Make a Difference' fundraising day to meet teachers and pupils to learn more about the initiative and its impact on the school.
“This initiative is a fantastic idea and I am very pleased that Ysgol Bryn Elian is the flagship school in Wales for it. I was astounded by what has already been achieved and I am thrilled that so many children in Clwyd West, and indeed the rest of North Wales, are benefitting from the initiative.
“Businesses replace their technology and premium quality furniture regularly and it make sense for it to be recycled in this way, rather than it ending in a recycling centre or waste disposal bank.
“At a time when school budgets in Wales are tight, this seems like an ideal solution.
“I commend all the staff and pupils involved at Bryn Elian and encourage them to keep up the fantastic work. “
Paul Woodhouse Head of Business and Computing and Lead of Business2Schools initiative at Ysgol Bryn Elian, said:
“We have been overwhelmed by the incredible support from our students, staff, community and local businesses.
“We pride ourselves on achievement for all at the school, and the partnership we have forged with Business2Schools is changing the landscape of education not only in Bryn Elian, but in our wider community. Our students now have access to, premium quality, technology and furniture, donated by generous businesses. This is giving students an amazing learning environment and enhancing their learning. We are extremely grateful for all generous donations to date and would welcome any further ones.”
Lindsey Parslow, Chief Executive Business2schools, said:
"We are delighted to be working with Ysgol Bryn Elian and a rapidly growing list of schools in Wales. We are seeing first-hand the incredible impact that donations of unwanted business furniture and tech make to education. Students' lives and outcomes across the UK are being transformed by offices passing on things they have finished with.
"If we want to protect the planet for our children and future generations we must teach them about sustainability and the circular economy; the most tangible way to do this is to encourage re-homing and re-use as opposed to letting offices recycle and destroy the good quality things they no longer need. Businesses have a commitment to address climate change and there is no nicer way than to upgrade our education system and see the beaming smiles and sheer joy it brings to teachers and pupils when lorries full of amazing things arrive at their school."
The school's 'Make a Difference Day' raised more than £7,000 for worthy causes.