Soha's Paul Shackleford with Abbey Wood School head
Abbey Wood School in Berinsfield has received 10 laptops to help with home schooling.
The school had been finding that many students were working from mobile phones or having to share with siblings. Social landlord Soha Housing stepped in with laptops to support learning in an area where the housing association manages several hundred homes.
With children increasingly needing laptops for home education, sourcing them had been problematic and all Soha’s usual suppliers had sold out – but Paul Shackleford, Soha’s Digital Inclusion and Employment Support Advisor (pictured with head teacher Mrs Sophie Charter) managed to track some down. He said: “I put a note in with each device to say that I will offer ongoing support to any families needing help with getting online, alongside employment or training advice.”
7,000+ home Soha runs a popular Get Online service which extends beyond Berinsfield to all areas where it has housing. Over time it has given more than 70 tablets or other devices to residents (on loan or as a gift) to help them be involved in the housing association or to seek employment.
Paul Shackleford himself has also offered 56 separate digital training sessions to individuals since the first lockdown.