Council supported families throughout the summer
Throughout the summer Telford & Wrekin Council have supported families across the borough providing services through a variety of schemes.
Four schemes were formed over the summer months to help children and families. The four schemes included; the Leader and Cabinet Laptops for Learning scheme, the holiday breakfast scheme, the school uniform scheme and the holiday activities and eat well scheme.
The laptops for learning scheme which enhanced the government scheme announced in April will provide more than 320 laptops to children who have fallen between the gaps across the borough. The scheme attracted support from Town and Parish Councils and personal donations, raising £91,000.
The scheme provided laptop devices to children to continue their learning from home who did not receive a device from the government scheme. The devices will be assigned to children who do not have access to a suitable device at home to support their online learning journey.
Each laptop the Council provides will be installed with additional educational software, including Microsoft Office and online learning packages such as BBC Bitesize. Measures will also be installed to ensure children’s online safety at home.
The holiday breakfast scheme supported families by providing a breakfast ahead of the school summer holiday. Breakfasts were available to children across the borough whose families were eligible for free school meals.
Some of the partner organisations who set up centres across the borough also provided a range of activity packs. The £30,000 funding from the Council provided this service to 12 priority wards, which delivered more than 43,800 breakfasts to children and young people eligible for free school meals across the borough since June 2020.
To ease the burden for families the Council has extended their support until the school October half term and further expanded the number of collection points to all wards across the borough so more families can be supported, making Telford & Wrekin Council one of a very small number of councils in England to provide a service like this.
Breakfasts are available for children in years 3-11 who are in receipt of free school meals. Parcels will contain breakfast items to last 5 days and will need to be collected and have been made available through the Local Authority Emergency Assistance Grant for Food and Essential Supplies from Defra.
If your child is eligible for free school meals registration will be required and will need to be collected from a dedicated centre. More details can be found here.
The school uniform project has helped hundreds of families with the cost of clothing their children ahead of the new school year. A social media appeal was launched at the start of the summer holidays for donations of good condition uniform that a child may have outgrown or no longer needed because of moving school.
Collection points were set up across the borough and anything from t-shirts, trousers, shirts, skirts and sweaters were donated. The campaign was set up in partnership with Town and Parish Councils, the Citizens Advice Bureau and Telford Interfaith Council.
The service was strengthened by a mobile collection run through a minibus that toured specific locations across the borough.
The scheme was first launched by Woodside ward member Councillor Kelly Middleton and is now in its third year.
The Councils Telford 2020 funding was extended a scheme that over the last two years has helped children and young people in the borough to enjoy holiday activities and healthy food during school holidays.
The last summer alone, over 900 children and young people benefitted from this scheme. The fund made £110,000 available for charities and voluntary sector organisations, social enterprises, Town and Parish Councils, schools and faith based organisations to run holiday activities with nutritious food in 12 wards.
Councillor Paul Watling Cabinet Member for Cooperative Communities, Engagement and Partnerships said: “We have been delighted with all our summer schemes and projects as they have supported many families across the borough.
“We know there are families who have struggled while their children have been at home and the increased costs associated with this because of the coronavirus pandemic. These schemes have supported them over the summer and they have been a huge success.
“We are also pleased to extend the breakfast service until the October half term across all wards in the borough. We are one of many few Councils to provide this service and we thank all partner organisations who are part of this scheme.
“We would also like to thank all our community partners, Town and Parish Councils and all other organisations who made delivering all of these schemes and projects possible.”