Local businesses can help children struggling to study at home during lockdown by donating disused computer equipment, says Gloucestershire entrepreneur Daniel O’Neill. The ProCook founder has donated 12 laptops and 21 tablets to the Robinswood Academy Trust this week, following an appeal from the Trust on behalf of struggling families.
Daniel, who has lived and worked in Gloucestershire for more than 25 years, said he believes businesses can make a great impact on these young people with even a small donation:
“It has been brought to our attention by the Robinswood Trust that there are many local children who still can’t access basic computer equipment and the internet at home, and when the Robinswood Trust approached us for donations we were more than happy to help.
I encourage any local business that has recently upgraded their equipment to see if there is anything they can spare. Anything we can do to support education locally is the right thing to do and can only benefit families and communities across the county.”
The Robinswood Academy Trust is a Department for Education approved multi-academy sponsor which consists of five schools in the Gloucester area: Robinswood Primary Academy (est. 1955) and Moat Primary Academy situated in Matson, Waterwells Primary Academy in Kingsway, Hunts Grove Primary Academy in Hardwicke and Grange Primary Academy in Tuffley.
Of the families with children that attend these primary schools several households have no internet access at all, and many families may have one device but have more than one child in the house needing to use it – so siblings have to ‘share’ time to learn.
Assistant Head of School at Grange Primary, Charlotte Holloway said: “Some schools in Gloucestershire are some of the most deprived in the country with 3 schools within our trust in the top 2% nationally for deprivation. The government has provided 10 extra laptops but it simply isn’t enough as we have 102 families, which include multiple children, unable to access school lessons and therefore falling further and further behind.
“We’ve delivered 17 computers to date and are providing 4G sim cards for families without internet access but there are still many children going without.
“We would gladly welcome any donation of equipment, no matter how large or small. The end of this lockdown is in sight but the longer it goes on the more children without access to learning tools fall behind.”