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Richmond Council vows to keep the borough online, with nearly two hundred laptops being delivered to children without computer access at no charge to them.

As families across the borough continue to face time at home, many children without computer access could find themselves unable to engage with essential social care provision, online schoolwork, and the important ability to virtually connect with friends and family.

In an effort to keep the borough connected, Achieving for Children, on behalf of Richmond Council, worked swiftly to identify 182 children without access to a computer, and thanks to a Government grant have been able to roll out a large number of laptops to those in most need.

The laptops keep families online and connected to allow children to continue to participate in their schools remote learning offer and access the numerous virtual activities that been launched by the borough’s Youth Services. This includes online drop ins, quizzes, competitions, workshops and courses, mental health support and other activities e.g. dance classes.

Many children in Richmond upon Thames who are in care or are care leavers regularly use social media platforms, and social workers are now using these channels to supplement and maintain regular contact with vulnerable young people around the borough - ensuring that they can keep chatting, learning, and have ways of reaching out virtually.

Cllr Penny Frost, Chair of the Children’s Services Committee for Richmond Council, said:

“As many key services, schoolwork, and even our social lives continue to adapt to the current ‘stay-home’ rules and now operate online, it’s essential that we keep as many families across Richmond connected, particularly the most vulnerable.

“Providing these laptops to those who don’t have a computer will allow families and children to not only access school-work and essential Council services, but to also connect with friends and family at a time where we are not able to do so in person. This is a great example of how the Council is working flat out to support our residents.”

For more information about virtual activities for young people: kr.afcinfo.org.uk/young_people

– from a Richmond Council press release - 19 May 2020