NEU’s Help a Child to Learn Campaign

Specialist commercial lender, Unity Trust Bank (@unitytrustbank) has pledged £5,000 for an appeal to help school children and young people nationwide access the basic resources needed for remote learning.

The National Education Union (NEU) launched its Help a Child to Learn fund in partnership with the Daily Mirror last month, having recognised the extraordinary financial challenges being faced by schools across England and Wales.

In every class of 30 school children, nine are growing up in poverty1, the effects of which have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. While schools and colleges are doing all they can to support students as they learn from home, limited budgets have left many young people without access to essential learning materials, including pens, paper, card and crayons.

A recent survey conducted by the NEU found a significant number of parents teaching students with limited or no access to learning resources at home.

The survey also found that a lack of resources was affecting children’s self-esteem, with some pupils using sheets of toilet paper or flyers to do their work on, as they didn’t have alternative resources to use at home.

Unity Trust Bank is a long-term partner of the NEU, and its donation means up to 10 schools will have additional means to support their most disadvantaged students.

Margaret Willis, CEO at Unity Trust Bank, said:

“Whilst the ongoing impact of lockdown is being felt across all areas of society, supporting our most disadvantaged communities in order to limit the long-term effects it has on the next generation is vital.

“Schools and colleges are undoubtedly doing everything they can to support young peoples through this challenging time. The NEU’s recent research has exposed how financial barriers are hampering the chances of educational success and we are proud to be able to support this campaign, which will provide schools with the essential resources needed to guide young people through this pandemic.”

Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary at NEU, said:

The NEU is proud to stand alongside Unity Trust Bank and we thank them for their generous donation to the Help a Child to Learn Campaign. The Covid pandemic has shone a light on the shocking reality of poverty across the UK and the barriers this throws up around equitable access to education.

“Schools have gone above and beyond to ensure no child is left behind, and pledges from ethical lenders and community organisations, as well as members of the public, are doing so much to ensure that children from disadvantaged backgrounds receive the learning resources they urgently need.”

Established with the purpose to create a better society, Unity is committed to working with organisations that also create valuable economic, community and environmental change. Its lending practices are measured against the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, supporting key societal issues such as health, education, employment, financial inclusion.

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