Hundreds of children and families will receive essential education support during lockdown thanks to £250,000 grant from Freemasons.
Children and young people from some of the poorest families do not have access to Internet or computer at home based. To make matters worst, the imposed lockdown causes schools to look to delivering homework and conducting their teaching over the Internet. These children are losing out, unable to complete their homework or carry out research for their coursework.
The following is a press release from The Freemasons’ Charity, the Masonic Charitable Foundation.
Hundreds of children and families will receive essential education support during lockdown thanks to £250,000 grant from Freemasons
Monday 15 June 2020
Vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people will be receiving laptops, tablets and WiFi connections to allow them to keep up with their schoolwork during the lockdown, thanks to a major grant of £250,000 from the Freemasons to Buttle UK’s Chances for Children Campaign.
The Covid-19 lockdown is having a major impact on all children, particularly with the effect of school closures. However, for many children and young people, this crisis will amplify difficulties that already exist in their lives, increasing their isolation and forcing them to spend many more hours in homes that lack the bare essentials and comforts most people take for granted.
More than a third of the poorest children do not have the internet at home and a similar number do not have a computer, official figures suggest. The current crisis is highlighting the ‘digital divide’ in the UK and the impact that not having IT equipment and internet access at home is having many children’s education.
Laptops, Tablets, WiFi and Beyond
As well as providing essential IT equipment, the Freemasons’ grant will also cover other costs that will keep children engaged and learning, such as books, toys, games and arts and crafts materials.
Alongside this Buttle UK also provides household essentials, including refrigerators, children’s beds, kitchen equipment, as well as vital safety gear such as stair gates and socket covers.
Buttle UK works through a network of referral organisations such as local charities, social services and health centres. These organisations ensure that help gets through to those that need it most.
Over the last 3 months the charity has been busier than ever, with this unique referral network allowing it to continue to get support into families’ homes despite the lockdown. They have distributed over 600 grants worth nearly £700,000 since 1 April, reaching over 1000 children and young people. They have also raised £1.6m during the pandemic to support its emergency response, including the funds donated through the BBC’s Big Night In, as well as those donated by the Freemasons.
Masonic Charitable Foundation
The grant from the Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
In response to the extraordinary need created by the coronavirus pandemic, Freemasonry is providing special funding of £2.75 million for projects helping those who are particularly affected by the virus. This extra money comes on top of the estimated £45 million given to charity every year by Freemasons.
Joseph Howes, CEO of Buttle UK, said:
“We’re very grateful to the Freemasons for their generous grant, which will make a huge difference to children, young people and families right across England and Wales during this incredibly difficult time. This funding will help children and their families overcome the immediate crisis Covid-19 is causing, but investing in children now can make all the difference to giving them the better future they need and deserve.”
David Innes, Chief Executive of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, said:
“I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help Buttle UK with their enormously important work among vulnerable and disadvantaged children and families. Children only get one chance at getting an education and helping them to take full advantage of their opportunities at school, even during the lockdown, can transform their life chances.”
About Buttle UK
Buttle UK is a national children’s charity that provides financial assistance, in the form of Chances for Children grants, directly to struggling families across the UK. The grants themselves are designed to give children a chance in life, by paying for things that these families would simply not otherwise be able to afford. Whether this funds a bed for a child who has had to sleep on the floor; counselling for a young boy or girl who has fled an abusive home with their mother; or a laptop to support a homeless teenager to begin their first college course, their direct, efficient and intelligent grants are always focused on the needs of the individual. Last year Buttle UK gave out £2.3m in grants Families are recommended for grants of up to £2,000 by a range of organisations including: social services, charities, housing associations or schools. Buttle UK was established in 1953 following the death of Frank Buttle, an East End clergyman who raised nearly £1m to help lift children out of poverty. This legacy means that the charity can cover its own administration costs, and so 100% of any monies raised goes directly into giving children in crisis a chance for change. Registered charity numbers: 313007 and SCO37997 (Scotland). Visit wwww.buttleuk.org
About the Masonic Charitable Foundation
The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) is one of the largest grant-making charities in the country. Funded entirely through the generosity of Freemasons and their families, the MCF awards millions of pounds each year to local and national charities that help vulnerable people, advance medical research and provide opportunities for young people. The MCF also helps to fund vital services such as hospices and air ambulances and regularly contributes to worldwide appeals for disaster relief. In total, MCF support helps to improve the lives of thousands of people every year in England, Wales and internationally. As well as providing grants to charities, the MCF supports Freemasons and their families with a financial, health or family need. Visit www.mcf.org.uk