Local charity to continue helping SEND families in Oldham with remote technology during lockdown

Date published: 08 January 2021

Locally-based charity Oldham Parent Carer Forum has been awarded a grant to supply families in the town with HP Chromebooks to assist children and young people with additional needs and/or disabilities to work remotely.

Oldham Parent Carer Forum supports families throughout the borough.

During 2020, through feedback from consultations and speaking to families, it became clear that the first lockdown had highlighted digital inequality.

Many SEND families normally rely on schools and libraries to access the internet, but with those closed they were struggling to get online.

Schools and teachers have been doing brilliant work to keep pupils learning at home during this crisis, but children without a laptop or tablet and easy access to the internet at home have been at a disadvantage.

The Forum, following a successful grant application through Pears Foundation, and matched funding from HM Government, have now been awarded funds which will allow them to support 78 SEND families in Oldham without technology at home.

Andrea Greenwood, Oldham Parent Carer Forum Development Manager, said: "Remote learning should be accessible to all pupils while they cannot attend their school setting, regardless of their background.

“We are all thrilled to be able to offer our families a HP Chromebook, to support their child or young person with their education.

"Although the government roll out scheme to schools for 2021 is helping to get IT equipment to many of our most disadvantaged school pupils, it does not cover everyone and that’s why we applied for this grant."

This funding is part of the Government’s £750m charities package and is being granted through Pears Foundation’s trusted, long-term partners to ensure funding gets to frontline organisations and their communities.

The Forum would like to acknowledge the philanthropic support of Pears Foundation.

Oldham Parent Carer Forum know that this will give vital support for SEND families to be able to engage in home learning, alleviate financial pressures, breakdown barriers of social isolation and enable children and young people to access other on-line services to also support their well-being.

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