Greenham Trust has today launched the ‘Laptops for Lockdown Learning’ appeal to give every child a laptop to learn under lockdown.
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 so they don’t fall behind during lockdown. While the campaign initially serves local children in Greenham Trust area of operation – the West Berkshire and north Hampshire region, it is expected The Good Exchange will also attract other funders, corporates and the wider community onto the platform and possibly extend to create other similar programmes 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.
This means hundreds of thousands of children from poorer communities, already at a huge disadvantage to their wealthier peers in terms of gaps with educational attainment, are missing out on core education, interaction with teachers and peers and critically the preparation they need to improve their life chances.
Greenham Trust has in fact 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.
Greenham Trust invites any funders or companies who, would like to support the campaign, to contact Julian May, Head of Collaborative Funding at Greenham Trust and The Good Exchange, [email protected]
To donate to Greenham Trust’s Laptops for Lockdown Learning campaign, visit the fundraising page, https://app.thegoodexchange.com/project/18560/greenham-trust/laptops-for-lockdown-learning
Laptop image above is by Robert – Flickr CCL