Hull based food producer Cranswick plc has donated over 1,150 laptops to primary aged school children in East Hull to ensure that all this age group have access to a laptop at home.
Cranswick was established in the East Riding of Yorkshire in 1974 and has strong ties to Hull. They operate six manufacturing sites and employ almost 5,000 people in the city, making them one of the largest employers in the area.
As the shortfall of laptops hit the headlines a few weeks ago, Cranswick wanted to be able to make a real difference to local children. They have been working with Karl Turner, MP and Hull City Council to understand the number of children who are currently without access to a laptop for learning requirements. Data provided to Hull City Council from the Academy Trusts across the city has shown around a third of pupils over the age of seven fall into this category
Adam Couch, Chief Executive Officer at Cranswick plc said: “We have been working to support the local community throughout the pandemic; providing sandwiches to the NHS, food parcels to those vulnerable in the city and continuing to support local charities such as EMS and Hull 4 Heroes.
“When we heard about the significant shortfall in the number of laptops available for local children, we wanted to help. Education is vital to ensuring the growth and development of the next generation and it is proven that learning in the early years can dramatically shape the progress of a child. As one of the city’s largest employers it is imperative that we support families in the area ensuring they have access to these devices. We have worked with Hull City Council to understand where a provision could make the most impact and make a real difference to combat the digital divide.
“The last year has been unspeakably challenging for so many families, and circumstances can be made even harder when children do not have the technology at hand to assist with their learning. This will help to have a positive immediate impact for the children and families of those who will benefit from the laptops, and this need continues as children return to school”
Karl Turner, Member of Parliament for East Hull, said: “Too many children have missed out on vital learning because there isn’t an adequate device or internet to connect it to at home. Despite the heroic efforts of teachers and school staff, this pandemic has shone a light on the real hardship many families face, with less privileged kids suffering the most being out of school. This generous donation will allow those children not only to access remote lessons but to have the best possible chance of catching up and fulfilling their potential when schools go back too.
“Throughout this pandemic we have seen, time and again, the people of Hull step up to look out for those in need. Where the Government has failed, our community has pulled together and provided. Together, Cranswick plc, myself and Hull City Council have made sure that the next generation in East Hull does not lose out and that no child is left behind."
Councillor Peter Clark, Portfolio Holder for learning, skills and safeguarding children, said: “The ambition is for every child over the age of seven to be connected and stay connected. This is a key project within our Covid recovery plans, which will help pupils catch up with their education.
“I am very grateful to Cranswick for this generous donation. It will mean that a significant number of children who are currently without a laptop will now have access to one. I would also like to take the opportunity to encourage any other businesses that are able to, to help us further bridge the digital divide.”
Miss Brummitt, Executive Headteacher at Gillshill & Cavendish Primary Schools, said: “These laptops will be an essential learning tool for many pupils in East Hull, who simply do not have access to devices which are used more and more in schools.
“They won’t just be used learning from home but in the classroom too, as technology plays an ever growing part in our day to day learning environment. I want to pass on my heartfelt thanks to Karl, Cranswick and Hull City Council for all the work they have done to secure these devices”