Editor: This unfairness is not over and we still need your help

The children are back at school and we can all breathe a sigh of relief, can’t we? We have teachers stood in front of classes rather than seeing tiny faces on small screens … or do we?

Monday, 21st June 2021, 6:54 am
Updated Monday, 21st June 2021, 7:00 am
Wandisco's David Richards with Councillor Abtisam Mohamed at the Laptops for Kids campaign launch

If only life were so simple. Sadly, there is still a problem which has not yet been fully addressed and remains an issue, even though it has fallen down the priority list.

Children need access to the internet via a reliable computer when at home to be able to hand in their homework, do research, complete tasks and learn. That is why The Star teamed up with organisations across the city to launch Laptops for Kids, when it reached crisis point thanks to lockdown … but it isn’t over.

The need for devices will not lessen over the coming years and we must keep up the supply so nobody needs to fall behind.

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We are so grateful for your support so far. Every single device donated is now being put to good use by school children. But we still need more.

There are 2,000 Sheffield families who are unable to take part in lessons from home because they have no computer. And that is after huge efforts from volunteers, Star readers and the council.

Bubbles are bursting across schools in Sheffield, as in every city, which means children are literally locked out of class if they don’t have a suitable laptop.

This is not going to end any time soon. Even if there was a magical wand which we were able to wave and Covid completely disappeared, we still need youngsters to have access to the internet at home.

My youngest son was sent home from school to self isolate at the start of this week and, as I am writing this, I received an email from my eldest son’s school saying he also has to stay home.

I have to say I am slightly suspicious that both boys are now self isolating in the middle of the Euros – how convenient for them – but, on a serious note, while we are lucky to have enough laptops at home, far too many are not.

This is not a luxury. It is a basic tool needed to learn and no family in Sheffield in 2021 should have to chose between whether they want to feed their children or educate them.

Please keep on helping us to help others. Donate your unwanted devices at ltfk.co.uk