Angela Richardson MP met with Peter Cluff, Matt Gaskin, Sanjat Patel and Mike Parsons of Guildford Philanthropy, on Monday 18th January to discuss ongoing laptop distribution for school children in Guildford.
With schools being closed to most pupils as part of the national effort to slow the spread of Covid-19, most pupils are now studying remotely.
The Department for Education has made a significant investment into remote learning to ensure children can continue their education through the coronavirus pandemic. Over half a million laptops and tablets have been delivered for disadvantaged children to schools and colleges, with hundreds of thousands more on the way.
Guildford has a history of supporting those who are less fortunate, and Guildford Philanthropy is an integral part of this. The group - chaired by Peter Cluff - is working with local stakeholders to assist with the distribution of laptops to children studying at home through the pandemic.
The purpose of the meeting was to ensure that stakeholders co-ordinated their efforts in an integrated approach to make the delivery of laptops run as smoothly as possible.
Guildford Young Carers, founded by former Mayor of Guildford and Borough Councillor Mike Parsons, has made funding available to purchase laptops for young carers in Guildford. Mike said ‘Many young carers are from less well off family backgrounds. Often, they are not recognised as young carers and choose for a variety of reasons to remain hidden to society and recognised agencies. Such young carers are often unable to fulfil their educational potential. Young people are our future’.
Matt Gaskin, already well known for organising Christmas lunches for people in Guildford who would otherwise be alone at Christmas, is also using his expertise to help source laptops for schools.
Commenting afterwards, Angela Richardson MP said:
‘Guildford Philanthropy exemplifies the strong community spirit in Guildford that has been an asset to our local community throughout the pandemic’.
‘The Corporate Ambassador programme harnesses the skills of local businesses to assist those in need through supporting projects such as distributing meals to vulnerable families, helping those suffering from pandemic induced stress, and assisting people back to work through mentoring, teaching and learning’.
‘Their latest involvement with laptop distribution to schools is testament to the ongoing positive impact they have on our area.’