Bridging the digital divide for families like the Turners

Bridging the digital divide for families like the Turners

News article from February 10, 2021

Thanks to our partnership with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, we were able to deliver almost 250 desktop kits to families living in digital poverty. 

Our project has now come to a close – and we will change our focus to monitoring the roll-out of government laptops. If needs are not met by the government, we will be signposting and supporting parents to access IT equipment and data from other organisations. Read all about our response to the latest COVID-19 lockdown.

The Turner Family

One of the final families to receive desktop kits were the Turners. All five of the Turner children go to the same primary school – in Years 5 all the way to reception. They live with their Mum and Dad as well as an adult cousin.

In school all five children were well behaved and appeared to be doing well so there was no cause for concern from the school. But after the extended school closures things at home started to deteriorate. On gate duty one morning Mum reached out to our SHS Practitioner for support with her second youngest child’s behaviour at home and disclosed that she was really struggling to manage home schooling.

Our SHS Practitioner invited Mum into the school where they could have a socially distanced discussion about Mum’s concerns and start working out what support was needed for the family. It became clear there were a number of complex needs within the family. Mum herself had a number of mental and physical health needs while Dad has 60% hearing loss. They were struggling to manage their five primary aged children who had lots of energy and limited space. The only technology they had to support the childrens’ online learning were two smartphones.

They were selected to receive two Raspberry Pi desktop kits. The impact that this will have on the children’s ability to access and complete their schooling while giving them more independence and confidence is expected to be huge. 

It will also give the parents access to their phones again during the day. For Dad this means that he can continue his own training which he is currently completing to become a chef and will give Mum more time in the day to manage the home and support her own mental health. 

Mum said: “The Raspberry Pi kits will make learning so much easier for me and my children as they will be able to access their home learning without having all the issues, like the phone not loading etc. At the moment they are sharing our phones so this will really help! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to help our kids with their learning.”

How can you help?

Demand for our support has never been more needed due to the COVID-19 pandemic making life incredibly difficult for so many. If you want to help us, you can donate today and help us continue to be there for the vulnerable children and families we support on a daily basis. 

[Images shown are not the Turner family]

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