RINGWOOD School has been able to buy seven laptops to help pupils during lockdown thanks to a donation from charity set up in memory of a New Forest woman.

Olivia Inspires was established after the death of 20-year-old Olivia Burt in 2018, who was from Milford on Sea.

It has donated more than £15,000 to help disadvantaged pupils affected by lockdown.

The charity helps young people aged 11 to 18 years, whose families live in the New Forest District Council area and who are facing financial hardship.

It is now working with schools in the New Forest to help them address the wide attainment gap between the richest and poorest pupils, believed to have got worse during lockdown.

The charity has made a total of £15,750 available, £1,500 to each of the nine secondary schools in the New Forest district and £750 to each of the three education centres and special schools.

Ringwood School’s assistant headteacher, Heather Jolly added: “Thanks to Olivia Inspires’ generous donation, we have been able to buy seven laptops. These have gone to students who have worked exceptionally hard throughout these difficult last few months, despite having limited or no access to technology at home.”

Nigel Burt, Olivia’s father and a founder of the charity said: “We know that lockdown has been very hard on all students, but particularly those who are most disadvantaged. We have offered the schools this funding to use in the way that they think will best help individual students.”

Many of the schools have used Olivia Inspires’ funds to provide laptops for pupils as so much learning has moved online during lockdown. The government has only provided laptops for disadvantaged students in Year 10, together with care leavers and those with social workers, so this means the majority of disadvantaged students have received no government help.

Go to oliviainspires.org.uk