The coronavirus pandemic has presented challenges that most of us have never experienced. Everyone has been affected by the situation we have found ourselves in but non more so than working poor and disadvantaged families.
‘Recent figures from an online survey of 4,000 parents in England by the Institute of Fiscal Studies carried out between April and May shows that children from better-off households are spending 30% more time each day on educational activities than are children from the poorest fifth of households. This will likely increase educational inequalities between children from better-off and the poorest households. The results of the survey illustrate that a majority of parents of primary and secondary school students are struggling with providing home learning but still have the means to provide some form of support through access to technology, online resources or private tutoring. For more disadvantaged households these issues are being exacerbated further by challenges with access to technology and connectivity.’ The EDGE Foundation June 2020: The Impact of COVID-19 on Education report.
Hull & East Yorkshire Children’s University has been at the forefront of the response locally ensuring that disadvantaged children have access to educational and mental health materials to support their well being and home learning through the pandemic. Thus far we have distributed 4,360 education and wellbeing packs to children in primary schools and children in care across Hull and the East Riding. We continue to explore and implement innovative ways that we can support the schools and children we work with. Our four letter box coordinators are back in schools delivering one to one reading sessions to children in care. Our care team is delivering personalised learning packs to the children and we are running very small group experiences for our children in care. On our main programme we are providing our free dance and drama and healthy lifestyles workshops to eligible primary schools. We are working with our corporate partners to design some videos and activities that can be done in school educating children about the world of work.
With Christmas coming soon we knew we would need to do something extra special this year as so many families will need a boost. Working with Tommy Coyle we are running the Doorstep Elves appeal. Each primary school, special school and PRU will nominate a family to get a spacial Christmas surprise. We will be buying each child a gift from a list that they send to Santa and each family will receive a Christmas meal with the help of Morrisons Beverley and Cranswick Foods. Details of how to get involved with be posted soon.
We thank everyone who has supported us during this difficult period which has enabled us to carry on our vital work.