Kidz Klub is a registered charity working with up to 1200 children (and their families) every week. Started by churches across Leeds, we support the poorest communities of the city. Our weekly programme of activities enables us to work from a base of trust and credibility. Our goal is to help children shine.

When lockdown began we looked at how we were going to stay in touch with our families. We were used to seeing our children up to three times a week, but it all stopped very quickly and we worried about how many of them were going to cope. Consistency is key, and we have been working with the children in many ways, including regular phone calls. Through these calls we learned just how many families did not have wifi, devices or data. They couldn’t maintain contact with friends or access educational resources or any of the resources Kidz Klub was putting online.

We spoke to one child who wasn’t receiving free school meals because the school had sent the information via email, and they didn’t have a computer. They didn’t have a phone either. Because of this they weren’t receiving food or school work – they were cut off.

We heard about DAW through Emma on Twitter, who encouraged me to get in touch with DAW online. My first thought was that it was made so easy – so easy I thought I’d got it wrong! I am so used to endless forms and jumping through hoops, it was really refreshing for the process to be so simple and for the turnaround to happen so fast.

My colleagues who took the devices out said the process was easy and joyous. Our only difficulty was with a family where English was really limited and social distancing made explaining things a little harder – but not impossible!

“The generosity of your organisation has meant so much to this family. The device enabled them to have access to learning resources, feel part of a community and stay connected during lockdown. The family were so grateful. The children have now been able to access Kidz Klub content through our channel, which has helped to remind them how special they are when we can’t see them as much as normal. Mum has expressed being excited to use it for her emails, too. It has meant so much to this family and we want to say a huge thank you for making this possible for them!”

One of our young volunteers said it would make his life ‘much easier’. We had worked with him pre-lockdown and had managed to get him a place on a ‘back to work programme’. The programme went online with lockdown, and all their 1-2-1 coaching and groups coaching sessions were over Zoom. He had a phone, but that’s not ideal for the sort of sessions they run. Having a laptop will, hopefully, help him to get more out of the programme and engage more with it.

Two other families explained that they had no way for their kids to do their schoolwork. They had been struggling at home for things to do and boredom was impacting relationships within the family. Having these devices will help them with their boredom, but will also allow them to access their schoolwork. Their social worker is so happy with the difference this is making.