Greenham Trust has launched a ‘Laptops for Lockdown Learning’ appeal to raise funds so it can ensure every child in its area of operation who needs one, has one.
Hosted on The Good Exchange, Greenham Trust will match up to £250,000 of donations made to the appeal. Every £1 donated will be matched, with the capability to raise £500,000 to help schools buy laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children to learn from.
The campaign initially serves local children in the Greenham Trust’s area of operation, which is the West Berkshire and North Hampshire region. However, if The Good Exchange also attracts other funders, corporates and the wider community onto the platform, similar programmes could be created in other areas of the UK.
Approximately 9% of children in the UK – between 1.1 million and 1.8 million – do not have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home, according to Ofcom. The majority of pupils in need have had to either use parents’ mobile phones (which are often on pay as you go and can cost up to £100 a day to access data), share devices with siblings who are also learning remotely or have gone without access to any device at all.
Greenham Trust has already received applications from a number of local primary and secondary schools requesting funding for laptops and IT equipment to enable their pupils in need to learn at home. Based on figures from West Berkshire Council the likely number of families requiring support across primary and secondary education in this area alone is 2,700-3,000.
Chris Boulton, CEO, Greenham Trust, said:
“The pandemic has shone a stark light on the gap in provision for families in lockdown, but we must make sure this gap doesn’t continue to grow. Whilst government nationally and locally are working hard to support schools in a quickly evolving situation there is clearly a need to provide additional help. We believe responsibility now falls on the voluntary sector and local community to ensure that disadvantaged children do not fall through the cracks during these difficult times when it comes to education.”
Any funders or companies who would like to support the campaign are invited to contact Julian May, Head of Collaborative Funding at Greenham Trust and The Good Exchange, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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