Calderdale's generosity shines through in Laptops of Learning Appeal

Calderdale’s kindness is shining through once again, as thousands of pounds worth of donations are being made to support children and young people to learn from home during national lockdown.

Monday, 18th January 2021, 1:08 pm
Updated Monday, 18th January 2021, 1:12 pm

Calderdale Council, the Community Foundation for Calderdale and schools are helping to provide free laptops and meals to pupils most in need whilst they are being home schooled.

Many families are struggling financially during the pandemic due to spending more on food, electricity and home schooling.

The Council, schools and partner organisations have continued to help the most vulnerable local pupils and families throughout, and this now includes supporting remote learning again until at least February half-term.

Young people in Calderdale receiving their laptops for home learning.

The Council is pressing the Government to provide laptops and tablets as quickly as possible under the national scheme.

Councillor Adam Wilkinson, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, said: “Thank you to all the schools and families who are working so hard to teach during the pandemic.

"It’s really important that all our children and young people stay healthy, keep learning and remain connected to their teachers, social workers and friends throughout lockdown. To do this, they need quality meals and access to technology at home.

"For many families this can be a struggle, so we’re delighted to launch the Laptops for Learning fund to get digital devices to families in need."

Young people in Calderdale receiving their laptops for home learning.

To help Calderdale families who don’t have access to this vital technology, the Council, the Community Foundation for Calderdale, the Valley Learning Partnership and the Calderdale Partnership School Improvement Board have started fundraising to provide free equipment to the families most in need.

So far, in just two days, they have raised over £30,000. To boost the fund and help even more pupils to receive the best possible education at home, local people are invited to donate to the Laptops for Learning Appeal hereSteve Duncan, CEO of the Community Foundation for Calderdale, explained: “At the beginning of lockdown last year we identified that our three main priorities to support our community during the pandemic were food and food distribution, mental health, and digital exclusion.

"We are pleased to be working with Calderdale Council to address these issues and improve the quality of life for the people of Calderdale. We believe that it is important and vital that young people are able to receive an education and have the proper tools to access this.”

The Council is providing direct support to vulnerable families who have been most impacted by the pandemic, who have access to free school meals.

Through the Government’s COVID Winter Grant Scheme, the Council has paid out around £734,000 to eligible families to help with food, energy and water bills until after the February 2021 half-term. It also continues to support and link residents up with local foodbanks.

Grants from Calderdale Council and the Community Foundation for Calderdale in 2020 have also been helping families in need across the borough, by supporting the work of local voluntary groups.