A thank you to parents and carers for their ‘incredible resilience’ in meeting the challenges of 2020

Published: Friday, December 11, 2020

Wandsworth Council’s cabinet member for education and children’s services has written a joint letter with the borough’s director of children’s services thanking parents and carers for their support throughout one of the most challenging and difficult years in living memory.

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The letter to parents and carers signed by Cllr Will Sweet and Ana Popovici have expressed their thanks and gratitude to parents and carers for their resilience in helping overcome the challenges of this year’s pandemic.

They write: “From Wandsworth Council, we would like thank each and every one of you for your incredible resilience this year in adapting to a pandemic which has brought many different challenges for Wandsworth families.

“Wandsworth Council has worked in partnership with our fantastic schools to help them to re-open and stay open this year through a special package of support. We are so proud that as a team we have achieved one of the best performances in the country in terms of school openings and attendance.

“This council is particularly committed to supporting those children that are most in need. This is true every year but during this pandemic we wanted to find a way to provide special targeted support to the most vulnerable in our communities.

“When it comes to food, we are therefore committing special targeted funds:

• Free food vouchers for the Christmas holiday and next half term to one of the largest selections of children in the country, using our own Wandsworth app (one of the first in the country to launch back in March). Our scheme is targeted at those in particular need: all children entitled to Free School Meals, all those with a social worker and in need of help or protection, all those extremely clinically vulnerable, all those with disabilities within our special 0-25 service, all those registered as young carers, all foster families.

• Financial support for families and individuals in need, with food, energy and water bills.

• Grants to local voluntary groups and clubs to provide hot meals and food parcels to vulnerable children in the community.

• Funding for a set of fun and educational activity programmes for children during the winter holidays, in partnership with our brilliant local youth organisations, to help children catch up on learning.

“This is one of the most extensive, if not the most extensive, schemes in the whole country.

“When it comes to digital, Wandsworth has worked tirelessly this year to ensure that children continue to access learning when working remotely. We have provided over 1,800 laptops plus data vouchers and dongles through our Power to Connect partnership with Battersea Power Station and other local schemes.

“We are so proud that we will shortly become one of, if not the only, local authorities in the country to provide free laptops to EVERY child in Wandsworth identified as in digital need. We are doing this by providing up to 600 additional laptops and data vouchers for children.

“We wish all families in Wandsworth a joyous Christmas break, and hope that this package of support will bring some much-needed cheer to the festive period and ensure that many more children and families have a very Happy Christmas.”

• The council has unveiled a major package of financial support and assistance to help the borough’s hardest pressed families get through the winter months, with just under £1.5m in additional funding been set aside to help struggling local families.