Three schools in Plymouth are celebrating after receiving new laptops and funding to help children learn from home.
LiveWest, the largest housing association in the South West, is supporting the schools by donating refurbished laptops and more than £1,500 in digital grant funding.
Plymouth Mayflower Academy Primary School, Pennycross Primary School and Montpelier Primary School have all benefitted from the donation of laptops and a £500 grant each from LiveWest as part of the housing association’s efforts to bridge a social divide exposed by the pandemic.
Michael Howells, Development Manager at LiveWest, organised the support for the schools in his hometown of Plymouth after experiencing first-hand the difficulties faced by other parents with home schooling and having the right technology available.
Michael said: “Having experienced first-hand with our children’s live classes, I noticed that children were unable to keep up, this was due to not having sufficient IT equipment and having to borrow their cousins’ friends’ tablet, which is unable to run the programs as well as a PC or laptop.
“As a result, this can leave those individuals at a greater disadvantage and falling behind. Those individuals should be acknowledged and helped wherever possible.
“Discussing this issue with other parents, they understandably express frustration at the lack of IT equipment available to them and worry how their children can continue to be educated effectively.
“As a leading housing association, LiveWest can make a real difference to families and the community with these gestures. I am delighted to say that one of the schools replied within a couple of hours expressing their gratitude and joy at the generous offer.”
Part of LiveWest’s recent response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been to donate up to 100 refurbished laptops to schools throughout the South West alongside emergency grant funding.
Sarah Sandey, Head of School of Mayflower Academy added: “Thank you so much for putting us forward for the LiveWest grant and the laptops.
“We are already making plans for how this contribution can most impact on the pupils and their remote learning. Thank you so much again, your generosity and kindness really demonstrates the #Togetherwecan team spirit.”
Tim Wotton, Grants manager for LiveWest, said: “It was a pleasure and a privilege to be able support Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust in this way.
“Giving back to our communities is a vital part of the work we do and we are absolutely delighted to be able to provide equipment which will make a positive difference to the children.
“Digital inclusion in a key priority for LiveWest and we want to support our communities with home schooling during lockdown.”
Since the end of March 2020, LiveWest has issued more than 1,500 crisis and hardship grants to its customers.
With Covid-19 putting a strain on people’s health and finances, LiveWest has given more than £300,000 in direct resident grants to support its most vulnerable customers.
Tim Wotton added: “Covid-19 means many more of our customers are really struggling as a result of changes to their income, employment or as a result of increased living costs.
“Through a combined approach, including our Tenancy Sustainment team, working with community organisations and other partners and agencies, we are able to help customers ensure they are accessing longer term support.”
For more information on grants please contact: https://www.livewest.co.uk/my-community/grants