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Freemasons £250,000 grant will allow children to access important support networks in lockdown

Children will benefit from access to technologies they didn’t have before

Hundreds of vulnerable and disadvantaged children and families are set to receive much-needed education support during the lockdown.

They will receive laptops, tablets and WiFi connections which will allow them to keep up to date with their schoolwork thanks to a grant of £250,000 from the Freemasons to Buttle UK’s Chances for Children Campaign.

The lockdown is having a major impact on all children, yet for many, the crisis will amplify difficulties that already exist in their lives, increasing their isolation.

More than a third of the poorest children do not have the internet at home, and a similar number are thought to not have a computer. 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.

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.

Joseph Howes, CEO of Buttle UK, said: “We’re very grateful for this 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.”

Alongside this, Buttle UK also provides household essentials, including refrigerators, children’s beds, kitchen equipment, and vital safety products such as stair gates and socket covers to prevent home injuries.

Buttle UK based in Westminster, Greater London, work through a network of referral organisations such as local charities, social services and health centres, who ensure that help is given to those who need it most. Coronavirus has seen the charity busier than ever, but the unique referral network has allowed it to continue to support families despite the lockdown.

They have distributed over 600 grants worth nearly £700,000 since April 1, reaching over 1,000 children and young people. They have also raised £1.6million during the pandemic to support its emergency response.

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