The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on all families, especially those from refugee and asylum-seeking backgrounds. Consequently, this has significantly influenced the learning and academic developments of these children. This is due to various reasons mentioned in our recent research report, including the lack of home learning equipment.
The government has delivered IT equipment to Local Authorities and academy trusts during summer 2020; to provide families, children and young adults who most need it and who do not have access to these items. Additionally, funding was provided to schools and Local Authorities to help support this vulnerable group access home learning equipment. However, many families are still struggling to gain access to these support systems & learning materials. In addition, families with refugee and asylum-seeking backgrounds may also not have the capability to understand or be aware that such support is available.
Here at URP, we have initiated the Thriving Families project to provide refugee and asylum-seeking families with IT equipment and weekly one-to-one tuition support. To ensure this project’s sustainability, we have collaborated with Leeds Libraries, Leeds City Council, and LEx (Lived Experience Movement) to provide our clients with devices. Through O2’s Community Calling campaign, two of our beneficiaries received refurbished iPhones with 6GB data monthly and free texts and calls for 12 months. LEx provided some of our beneficiaries on Thriving Families with refurbished laptops to help with their home learning and online tuition.
The past week has been rewarding and optimistic, as we delivered devices to young students across Leeds. Despite this initial success, there are still many more families left to reach. If interested, please visit the links below, to see how you can get involved.