Manchester United has been helping to distribute hundreds of laptops to disadvantaged children.
Alongside Trafford council, the team has handed out 646 laptops and 118 4G signal boosters as part of the Department for Education’s drive to support vulnerable families.
The equipment has been provided by the Department for Education and is being handed out to support children with distance learning until schools reopen in September.
Last week, a team of volunteers from Manchester United Foundation helped to deliver 318 laptops to 36 schools across Trafford.
The remaining devices are being distributed by Trafford council’s social care teams and care leavers were given their devices last week.
Trafford council has been working to identify every child and family where a device is required to ensure education and communication with these children and families can continue.
Coun Karina Carter, Trafford council’s lead member for education said: “It’s sometimes taken for granted that young people have access to IT equipment, but this is not the case.
“I am really pleased that we’ve been able to team up with Manchester United Foundation to ensure the laptops are delivered to young people in our most deprived communities.
“It is important that every young person in our borough has the correct school equipment. The schools have really appreciated having these laptops directly delivered to them.
“One of the council’s top priorities is providing support to children and young people in our borough. Well done to everybody involved in this scheme, it has proved to be a real success.”
Matt Johnson, director of operations at Manchester United Foundation, said: “We believe passionately in supporting our local communities and young people and to do this effectively we have developed strong relationships with key organisations like Trafford council.
“This partnership will make such a difference to young people of Trafford; such a large proportion of young people want to learn but have not been able to home-school during the pandemic because they don’t have access to IT equipment.
“By distributing these devices it’s a small but important role we can play in helping young people.”
National statistics show the pandemic will develop an academic attainment gap ‘larger than ever seen before’ as some children from deprived backgrounds have not been getting the support they need.
One barrier to learning is access to Wifi and devices.
Mr Johnson added: “This intervention will mean that over the summer holidays the young people of Trafford will be able to access teaching resources, engage with their school and teachers, and ultimately learn new skills and gain greater knowledge.”
For more information on the DfE scheme, go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-help-