HUNDREDS of Scotland’s most deprived families who are enduring extremely daunting self-isolating home environments have benefited from receiving vital communication lifelines including laptops and tablets after two of Scotland’s largest children’s charities joined forces with the Scottish Government’s ‘No One Left Behind’ scheme.
Aberlour Child Care Trust and Children 1st have backed the scheme, with both charities aware that hundreds of families that they are supporting are currently experiencing digital exclusion. In total it is estimated that between 15,000 and 20,000 vulnerable people are currently experiencing digital exclusion in Scotland, as well as being in the most vulnerable groups for COVID-19.
SallyAnn Kelly, CEO, Aberlour Child Care Trust explained:
“The digital world which many of us take for granted – and couldn’t do without during this crisis – doesn’t include everyone. For many of the families Aberlour and Children 1st work with, life without any digital connection – no phones, no apps, no social media, no internet – is the day-to-day reality.
“This lack of connectivity impacts families and children in a number of different ways. As well as making it difficult for our teams to maintain contact with the families that need us, we are finding that many schools are not in a position to provide digital devices making it difficult for children to complete and evidence schoolwork, and it is also exacerbating the isolation and loneliness felt by many children, young people and parents at this extremely difficult time.”
Mary Glasgow, CEO, Children 1st said:
“Both Children 1st and Aberlour Child Care Trust have already begun distributing digital devices, and we are thankful to be able to work alongside the Scottish Government, through its No One Left Behind initiative to procure and distribute nearly 100 more laptops and 500 tablets for families most in need. Families, who are digitally excluded are at greater risk of becoming more vulnerable.
“This support will make a massive difference to some of the most vulnerable families in Scotland – and prevent harm. However, this job is far from complete, and we must redouble our efforts to ensure every family has the appropriate technology to keep them connected and safe.”
You can support Aberlour Child Care Trust and Children 1st by donating at: www.aberlour.org.uk/donate/ and www.children1st.org.uk/donate/.