A London firm of estate agents has raised over £12,000 in just two weeks, to help children across Tower Hamlets with virtual learning during the lockdown.
A ‘Computers for Tower Hamlets Kids Appeal’ fundraiser has been set up by estate agents, MyLondonHome in a bid to raise £15,000 for children across the borough. Their JustGiving page hopes to raise enough funds to supply up to seventy five laptops to the schools of Tower Hamlets to help families with virtual learning.
Andrew Griffith, managing director of MyLondonHome and leader of the fundraiser said: “Tower Hamlets is London’s poorest borough where around fifty seven per cent of all children live in poverty…. we felt this was a really good way to try and give something back to the local community. Whilst the government’s trying to do as good a job as they can, the need is so great that there are a lot of schools out there that haven’t had any support whatsoever.”
Tower Hamlets has been ranked the tenth most deprived borough in the UK causing countless families with limited funds, unable to afford devices for the third round of lockdown learning. Griffith said: “It’s clearly impossible if you’ve got three or four kids to be home schooled from behind a mobile phone.”
Griffith said: “I was reminded yesterday by one of the school heads. We’re not just giving laptops to kids, we’re actually giving laptops to whole families.”
Arnhem Wharf Primary School is just one school that received laptops from MyLondonHome. Stewart Gudgeon, IT and Communications officer at the school said: “It was so encouraging to see support from an unexpected place. It renewed my faith in the social conscience of the average Londoner.”
Gudgeon added: “The ten laptops donated from MyLondonHomes fundraising efforts are a huge deal. That’s ten families who don’t have to worry about their child missing their learning or siblings battling over their laptop or tablet.”
So far, the appeal has reached eighty five per cent of its £15,000 target with some donations reaching as high as £5,000. Telecom 2, a local telecommunications provider is one business that has donated £1,000 to the fundraiser.
Telecom 2 said: “As a company, we’ve always put an emphasis on fundraising and charitable giving. We wanted to donate to this particular cause because we recognise that, while it’s an incredibly difficult time for children all over the country, those living without access to technology are being denied the same level of education as their peers.”
So far, MyLondonHome has given away over forty laptops. Griffith said: “I’m currently looking at around twenty in my office and they’re sort of stacked up in the corner that I’m due to deliver over the next couple of days.”
However, it’s not just the borough of Tower Hamlets who are benefitting from this fundraiser. Similar campaigns by MyLondonHome are taking place across London in a further three of the estate agents offices: Westminster, Battersea and Clapham. Griffith said: “We’re approaching £30,000 between our four offices at the moment”.