An initiative has been launched to give every schoolchild in Teesside one-to-one access to an iPad.

Tech Equal is the brainchild of Teesside entrepreneur, Visualsoft founder Dean Benson, and aims to ensure every primary pupil in Middlesbrough has one of the digital devices.

It was officially launched on November 24th with an event at The Assembly Hall in Middlesbrough, which was attended by over 75 business owners, influencers and people local to Teesside. So far more than £25,000 has been raised for the charity.

Dean said: “Imagine a world after tonight where we have changed one child’s life. Imagine that one child having a different upbringing because of tonight. Now imagine two children, a class of 20, a school, all schools in Middlesbrough. That is our mission. To give every single child in Middlesbrough an equal opportunity to be immersed in a digital world and the skillset to be able to succeed at anything.”

Tech Equal’s mission is to work with local businesses and the digital sector to support education in primary schools, ensuring that future generations have equal access and are digitally literate.

Its donation strategy aims to give everyone the opportunity to be involved in supporting digital equity in Middlesbrough, with varying levels of support.

The launch outlined the ways in which everyone can be involved, from sponsoring a child for the equivalent of 28p a day, to getting involved in its Class Of scheme, which gives businesses or individuals the chance to support a class group.

Professor Mark Simpson, a trustee and board member of Tech Equal, spoke at the event: “Children’s homework is all now set via apps and if you don’t have access to a device then you have to use the local library. Doing that everyday is almost impossible. The notion of equality is huge and having that access to a device is revolutionary.”

Dean added: “This event wouldn’t have been possible without the help of some amazing people: Steve Dougan and his team for the amazing space at The Assembly Hall to host the event; Laura Hall and the Truffled Hog, for sponsoring the event and taking care of all drinks and nibbles; Thomas Doddsai, at Print UK, for the amazing pop-ups and custom printing; and finally, all the trustees and the amazing team we are slowly building at Tech Equal – real collaboration is why we are seeing such fab progress.”