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School pupils given laptops to ensure ‘no family is left behind’

PUBLISHED: 17:41 20 April 2020 | UPDATED: 17:41 20 April 2020

Twenty laptops are being given to pupils at Hewett Academy in Norwich. Picture: Friends of Hewett

Twenty laptops are being given to pupils at Hewett Academy in Norwich. Picture: Friends of Hewett

Friends of Hewett

Twenty laptops are among items being delivered to families as part of a joint effort by teachers and parents to help pupils at a Norwich secondary school stay connected.

Teachers at The Hewett Academy have been delivering food packages to families during the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Friends of HewettTeachers at The Hewett Academy have been delivering food packages to families during the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Friends of Hewett

Hewett Academy deputy head Andrea George-Samuels said following the Easter break a team of teachers and school staff was working with Friends of Hewett, the school’s dedicated parent-teacher charity, to ensure pupils were not being left.

Since the government ordered schools to close to all but vulnerable children and those of key workers, the Friends of Hewett has been working with the school to deliver food packages to children who would normally receive free school meals.

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Now laptops, toys for younger siblings and art materials are among the latest items being delivered as the lockdown enters its fifth week.

Toys and art materials are being delivered to pupils at Hewett Academy in Norwich during the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Friends of HewettToys and art materials are being delivered to pupils at Hewett Academy in Norwich during the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Friends of Hewett

Thanks to grants, including one from Norfolk Community Foundation, Friends of Hewett is giving 20 laptops and wifi dongles this week to ensure that every Hewett Academy family has online access to stay connected with their friends and the school.

“We are passionate that every family in our school community should feel supported and part of our school community during this time,” explains Friend of Hewett treasurer and parent, Becky Greengrass.

“We will be sending out 89 food parcels this week and 20 laptops and wifi dongles to ensure that no-one in our school community feels forgotten.”

Teachers at The Hewett Academy in Norwich have joined forces with parents to make sure the school community remains strong during the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Friends of HewettTeachers at The Hewett Academy in Norwich have joined forces with parents to make sure the school community remains strong during the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Friends of Hewett

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As well as receiving an emergency grant of £1,000 from Norfolk Community Foundation, Friends of Hewett have worked with Norwich arts and play organisation Toy Like Me who have donated toys and art materials to help keep younger siblings in the school community busy.

They are delivering wellbeing ‘play packages’ to around 25 families containing donations of toys and puzzles from local toy firms, including Swafham-based craft company Sequin Art and Wymondham-based Orchard Toys.

“We want to support Hewett pupils but also their younger siblings too,” said Ms Greengrass who is herself a key worker and parent to a child with special educational needs.

Food packages are also being delivered to families with children elgiable for free school meals during the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Friends of HewettFood packages are also being delivered to families with children elgiable for free school meals during the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Friends of Hewett

“We are mums too and we know how hard it is to be at home with young children right now. It’s really challenging, so any small thing we can do to make it easier, we will do.”

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