Helix Site Manager, Ryan Rawlinson, has launched an online fundraising campaign to buy tablets to enable children to continue online learning during the COVID-19 lockdown.
So far ‘Tablets for Children’ has raised more than £5,600 to support families across Andover (where Ryan’s family lives) with home-schooling – enough to buy 100 tablets. Helix has donated £500.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the scale of digital poverty across the country, with communications regulator Ofcom estimating up to 1.78 million children in the UK have no access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home.
To raise awareness of this issue and provide support, Ryan set up Tablets for Children on Facebook and within the first 20 days had raised enough money to purchase 100 new tablets for local children.
Ryan said: “When the government first announced the third national lockdown, I didn’t have everything I needed to set my two children up for home-schooling.
“Whilst I was able to get hold of two tablets, I saw a number of families post on social media about how it was not an affordable option for them, which meant many children would be left behind and not able to complete their studies.”
KP Safety Solutions has also donated learning devices to Tablets for Children. Ryan has worked with suppliers to secure as many tablets as possible. Manufacturer Lenovo has substantially discounted the tablets brought through the campaign – charging just £56 for each device.
Ryan continued: “I’m blown away by the sheer generosity of everyone that has got involved. In a pandemic, where people are not in the most ideal of situations, it’s incredibly heart-warming to know that people will still go out of their way to help those less fortunate than themselves. “
Tablets for Children has been gifting the tablets to local schools to ensure they get to those who need them most. So far, they have been to Andover Church of England Primary School, Balksbury Junior School, Endeavour Primary School, Portway Junior School and Vigo Primary School, Roman Way Primary, Knights Enham Junior, Anton County Junior School.
Yasamin Aldoori, Federated Deputy Headteacher from Balksbury Federation, said: “Receiving the tablets donated by Tablets for Children has had a huge impact on our federated community. It has allowed families to connect to their home learning, after a short lockdown notice. We can’t thank them enough for what they have done for our families. The response has been overwhelming and has shown us the kindness the community around us has.”
Nic Davies, Managing Director at Helix, said: “All credit to Ryan for personally launching such a brilliant initiative. He is single-handedly making a huge difference to scores of families.
“As soon as Ryan mentioned this campaign to me, it was a complete no-brainer for Helix to support the campaign. Tablets for Children aligns exactly with our aim to invest into the local communities where we work – it was simply the right thing to do.”
If you would like to make a contribution, follow this donation link: https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8vNaK3W4Mf