As we re-enter lockdown in England, Luton mosques are leading a local campaign to donate 200 laptops for schools across the town.

The campaign is being initiated as Luton has experienced the highest job losses in England since lockdown. The latest labour market figures from the Office for National Statistics show that we are facing the biggest fall in employment in over a decade. 6,560 people putting in new claims for unemployment benefits from March to May this year – the largest increase in the country!

46% – almost half – of all Luton children, live in relative poverty Local secondary schools are now processing more than 100 additional free school meals as a result of household earners being made redundant since March 2020.

Schools have shifted to digital media as their primary channel of resource sharing as a result of Covid-19, and this will continue even as schools reopen.

Local demand is increasing daily. The government school laptop scheme for disadvantaged pupils falls well short of national demand. Many of the households in need are sharing a single mobile device amongst multiple children with limited data allowance.

Luton Learning Link has been set up by the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, Education Service, Luton Mosques and Level Trust charity to provide devices to local young people who are in desperate need of one. The joint initiative sources and refurbishes devices for loan to any schools in need.