Donated laptops make family connections possible

Last year the BBC launched their 'Make a difference' campaign after recognising that there were people in need of resources to be able to continue living as 'normal' as possible, throughout lockdown. As part of this campaign, 'Make a difference, give a laptop' was created whereby the BBC encouraged people to donate restored laptops and tablets to those who needed them.

Steve Baxter of G.T. Computer Services joined the movement by donating two of his restored laptops to the residents of Abbeyfield independent living apartments, Hale Court in Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Karen Barrett, Interim Manager at Hale Court said, ”I saw a post on social media from Steve at G.T. Computer Services, he was asking for people to donate their old laptops so he could refurbish them for school children to use to study at home. I messaged him to say that if he had any that were not suitable for the children, then we could definitely give them a home at Hale Court! I explained how as an independent living facility with care, we do not get access to extra funding or grants, but the residents are still distanced from their families. We kept in touch over the next few weeks, until the time came that two were available for us.

“Our residents are so thankful and have really loved being able to see and talk to their family through Zoom calls. It has been fantastic to see them back in touch with family visually, as well as audibly. Some residents have family members that live a significant distance from them who they haven’t seen in a year, so this has been absolutely wonderful for them.”

Here are just some of the things our residents and relatives had to say:


“Thank you so much. I can’t believe that I got to see my daughter, her dog and her new haircut. It was absolutely wonderful.” – Yvonne, resident

“We’re so grateful to everyone. This is fantastic!” said Marguerite. “That’s wonderful news! Thank you Steve Baxter and to the Hale Court team for introducing Mum to this 21st century technology.” said Claire – Daughters of Margaret, resident

Pictured above: Margaret and Yvonne, loving their new laptops! 


Karen added, “We would like to thank again Steve, G.T. Computer services and the people who donated the devices for making such a huge difference to our resident’s contact with their loved ones.”

Steve Baxter of G.T. Computer Services said, “I was an I.T. Consultant for many at some fairly large companies. Whilst the pub I run, The Grove Tavern, has been closed, I’ve been occupying my time in recycling computers as part of the BBC's Make a Difference, Give a Laptop campaign.

“Karen got in touch with me to ask about a laptop for residents at Abbeyfield Hale Court, I was more than happy to donate two recycled laptops. This enabled some of the residents to hold their first ever Zoom call with family for the first time in a long while.”

Thank you so much to Steve, for donating the laptops and helping our residents stay connected throughout the remainder of lockdown. You have made a real difference.