Leicester charity helps provide electronic devices to support children home-learning

By Grace Cushnie

A local charity has helped provide £6,500 worth of electronic tablets to Leicester school children.

The Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation (LRCF) partnered with the School Development Support Agency (SDSA) to provide the electronic devices to children unable to access online learning.

Tablets being distributed to schools by LRFC staff.

The LRFC is one of forty-six community foundations, that together make up the UK community foundation. They work as ‘middlemen’ between people who wish to do good and those that need the help. The charity handles the financial and legal responsibilities, both for the people they help and their donors, making each process easier.

Sian Jones, communications lead for LRCF, explained that the money received for the smart tablets “came from a mixture of fundraising and grants.

“SDSA works very closely with lots of schools in the local area to find out where there are pockets of need, and find families who are struggling to access online learning because they might not have devices, or enough devices for the number of children.

“They have given out eighty tablets last week, with another 80 being distributed this week.

“It’s also a sustainable project – the devices belong to the school, so once remote learning has finished and the child no longer needs the device, the school will benefit long term because they will have use of the devices still.

“This is most definitely making a difference. You don’t have to spend much time listening to the news to find that one of the real inequities of the lockdown is that those who need support most aren’t getting it, because they didn’t have access to the equipment they need or even WIFI. Anything that can be done to equalize the playing field so that vulnerable children aren’t impacted even more is fantastic.”

Lisa Saunders, an NHFT nurse who works with several schools, agreed that “doing anything to help the inequality our children are facing, which this pandemic has highlighted, needs to be a treated as a priority. “Donations like the LRFC’s are essential to begin the fight for equality for working-class families.”