Businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire have joined forces to provide resources to support young people as schools close their gates.
A group of companies and universities have supported schools across the region with donations of stationery and other resources for schoolchildren who haven’t got the equipment necessary to learn at home.
The initiative has been organised by the Coventry and Warwickshire Careers Hubs, which were launched by the Careers & Enterprise Company, and brought to the region by CWLEP.
So far 14 schools in Coventry, Nuneaton and wider Warwickshire have benefited from the donations, with seven businesses and two universities engaging with the initiative to date.
Businesses to donate include WMG at the University of Warwick, Willmott Dixon, National Grid, University of Leicester, Severn Trent, Armstrongs, Mecalac and the Mercure Warwickshire Walton Hall Hotel and Spa.
Enterprise co-ordinator Emma Culey from Coventry and Warwickshire Careers Hub and, who is part-funded by Think Higher Coventry and Warwickshire, which is based at the University of Warwick, has been leading on the drive for donations.
Emma has urged businesses across the region to not only provide support to schools in the short-term, but to also think long-term in their approach to supporting school.
She said: “We had a phone call with our enterprise advisers and one of those mentioned that schools are packing up stationery packs for disadvantaged students who don’t have anything at home.
“Willmott Dixon donated 250 stationery packs to pupils in Nuneaton and the initiative gathered momentum from there.
“We have had an incredible response from local employers and universities across our network, and we’ve been working hard to make sure the donations we get make it to the schools and children that need it the most.
“We’re encouraging more businesses to get in touch with us to see how they can support on a much wider basis. Businesses will have a lot of excess stationery left over, with offices being closed, and these things would go a long way if donated to a school.
“Fay Winterburn and her team at Warwickshire County Council were crucial to this effort by coming back into work, putting calls out to businesses in Nuneaton, packing up stationery and making drop offs to local schools.
“We would like to thank all the businesses in Nuneaton who donated, and Fay and the team for their invaluable support.
“It’s been a really short turnaround on this first stage of donations but it has been great to see businesses coming together to help.”
Zainul Ahbedin, Careers Advisor at Lyng Hall School in Coventry, said: “It’s a small albeit meaningful gesture to our kids and sets a great example of how, in education and as a community, we pull together in challenging times.”
Businesses interested in supporting the initiative should contact CWcareers@cwlep.com