Crewe Labour Councillors launched the ‘Project 100’ campaign to get 100 devices to schools to be used for home learning following the announcement that schools would have to close as part of the third lockdown.
Now, due to the generosity of the Crewe and Nantwich public, as well as the hard-work of dedicated volunteers, the group has delivered 55 devices to five schools across the two towns.
The campaign also has a further 16 devices promised by local business to be passed to schools in the coming days, taking the total devices handed out at 71.
However, the campaigners have said there will be no stopping once the target is reached.
One of the founders of the group, Councillor Anthony Critchley, who represents Crewe Central said: “We found a void and felt that we had to do something practical for the children and families in our area.
“The public have really bought in to the project, the number of donations has been heart-warming.
“But this could not have been done without the dedication of our volunteers.
“Nic Bunting runs The Nantwich Computer Consultant in Nantwich and has an incredible thirst for all thing’s tech, along with a wealth of knowledge based in Nantwich.
“In Crewe, we have Paul Clarke who is equally as passionate and talented with machines.
“I know Paul as both a resident in Crewe Central but more as the IT Technician at St Thomas More on Dane Bank Avenue – the school I left 13 years ago.
“They themselves have been great, allowing donations to be dropped off for Paul to take home and work on.
“Jayne Wright, who is based in Shavington has been a trooper too, collecting and delivering donated devices to Paul and Nic.
“The overall campaign has just been so smooth because of the kindness and generosity of people!”
Councillor Sally Handley, who represents Crewe St Barnabas said: “This project has shown yet again that when there is a need, the people in our community step up and go above and beyond.
“At the Children’s and Families Committee meeting on Monday, questions were asked about the roll out of devices for home-learning and although the Authority isn’t administrating the provision, it was apparent that the number of devices handed out by the Government is woefully inadequate, this is in-line with the conversations I have recently had with school staff.
“The alternative to home-learning is for full classrooms, by the Government’s own measures – this isn’t safe, not just for children’s and their families but for teachers; teaching assistants and admin staff within the school setting also.
“Of course, we want children back in schools, but only when they have been made safe for everyone and everything has been assessed, from classroom best practice to the effects of long-Covid in children.
“As one of the Mental Health Champions on Cheshire East Council, I am concerned for the mental health of not only children but also their families who have taken on the addition pressures of working and learning from home since March last year.
“I am keen to work with the Council on what the Authority can put in place for coming out of lockdown and the mental health provision in the time when measures and restrictions are no longer need. Taking a holistic approach for families.”
The CheshireLive newsletter – How and why to subscribe
It’s more important than ever to keep up to date with the news.
We offer a free, daily newsletter service.
Each CheshireLive bulletin delivers the latest breaking news, what’s on events and the hottest talking points straight to your inbox. For more information about how to subscribe, click here.
“If we can find a system where young people are given a skill that benefits them and the wider community, then that is great.
“I look forward to discussions for any projects that develop from this campaign, but we’re not quite there just yet.”
For information on how to get involved, visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/224103675938547
CheshireLive recently joined Cash for Connectivity campaign ensure kids who are struggling with the challenges of homeschooling can get the support they need.
We teamed up with our sister site In Your Area other news brands in the region and beyond.
We’re joining forces with the Northern Powerhouse-backed Laptops for Kids campaign’s push to raise £1.2m to help provide free internet access to 100,000 households across the North.
To find out more, click HERE