Midlothian MSP visits the Turing Trust in Loanhead

Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, visited the Turing Trust in Loanhead to hear more about the work they are undertaking to help empower disadvantaged communities through technology.

Founded by Alan Turing’s family in 2009, his family seek to continue his legacy through the Turing Trust by refurbishing IT equipment, installing a range of educational software and providing it to students across Africa to enable IT-supported learning.

So far, the Turing Trust has installed over 12,000 computers in African classrooms, supported more than 116,000 students and offset 3,500 tonnes of carbon emission. The Turing Trust also accept donation of old computers and laptops from individuals and businesses giving the devices a new lease of life instead of going into landfill.

Commenting on his visit, Mr Beattie (SNP) said: “I am hugely impressed with the work the staff and volunteers at the Turing Trust are undertaking in my constituency to help classrooms in Africa access these much needed resources in this new digital world.

“Now more than ever we are relying on technology to keep us connected and the Turing Trust is playing its part to ensure that classrooms across Africa can have the same opportunities to learn.

“As well as empowering disadvantaged communities through technology, the Turing Trust keeps its impact on the environment low with its zero-landfill policy.

“I would encourage anyone who would like to support the Turing Trust’s excellent work to donate any old computers or laptops information on how to do so can be found on their website.”

Turing Trust founder James Turing, spoke about the charity’s work.

Photo L-R: Neil Gilchrist, Audrey Johnston, Colin Beattie MSP and Founder James Turing

He said: “Over the last 12 months we have seen our team achieve some incredible results thanks to the vital support of myriad donors and volunteers. Together they have helped us with over 7,400 hours of hard work, ranging from packing containers on shipping days to the all-important refurbishment of computers.

“From the goals set in 2020, in spite of continuing challenges with the pandemic, we have made considerable progress on many of these. This year we were able to install more computer labs than any year before, installing a total of 70 new computer labs in Malawi in 2021. Many plans for teacher training had to be modified, yet we nonetheless ensured that 198 teachers received training.

“Beyond these social impacts our IT reuse programme has generated significant environmental benefits throughout the year too. In 2021 we diverted 46 tonnes of PCs that would otherwise go to waste and provided equivalent carbon savings of 966 tonnes.

“I would like to pass on my immense thanks to all of our staff and volunteers who have gone above and beyond this year in their efforts to help others. I am immensely looking forward to the year to come and seeing what more we can do building a world with technology-enabled education for all.”

Alan Mathison Turing OBE was an English mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, and theoretical biologist.