Hounslow’s Promise ConnectingKids@Home project provides laptops and other devices donated within the community to families in need in Hounslow. Launched in the first lockdown, the project is providing vital support for many pupils across the borough.
‘It has been absolutely brilliant. I was stressed because I couldn’t do the work as I only had my phone. Now I can do the home learning.’
There remains an enormous need for support. Working with Hounslow Education Partnership we have identified over 1,000 pupils in urgent need of devices and connectivity to bridge the growing inequality in education and a digital divide.
Each device is a gift of kindness and has its own story.
'I've seen TV news reports regarding the difficulty that children are having studying at home if they don't have access to computers and smart devices. The PC belonged to my late father and I've wanted to give the equipment away to a good cause.'
‘The devices I’m donating belonged to my sister who passed it down to me, they were originally Hounslow Council issued and they are now ready to go to a new home where hopefully a family is able to benefit from them’
The project is coordinated centrally with Covid safe collections completed by enthusiastic volunteers.
‘During the first lockdown starting in March I was looking for ways to help the community during these devastating times. I jumped at the opportunity to get involved with ConnectingKids@Home because, being a mother of two, I knew how important it is for children to have homework independence during lockdown. I enjoyed meeting people during lockdown and was able to talk to some of them who were more than welcome to see a friendly face as well as donating their old computer.'
Once collected, the volunteer delivers the devices to Springwest Academy for cleaning down, safety testing and re-imaging before local schools pass it on to the children and families who need them.
To find out more about the project or to donate a device go to www.hounslowspromise.connectingkidshome.html or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Seema Malhotra MP will be hosting Promise Night to fundraise for Hounslow's Promise on the 17th of July. The night will bring together members of civil society, including politicians, businesses and other members of the community for a night of speeches and a Gala Dinner. The Gala will include a silent auction and a raffle component with plenty of prizes.
Hounslow's Promise was founded in 2017 by the Member of Parliament for Feltham and Heston, Seema Malhotra MP, alongside the Member of Parliament for Brentford and Isleworth, Ruth Cadbury MP. The initiative has been developed in partnership with Cranford Community College with input from schools, business, councillors, members of Hounslow Youth Council and community organisations.
The project is based on five promises made by the community to young people: a network of caring adults, safe spaces and facilities, supporting our teachers, a healthy start and youth leadership. Based on these promises, the project seeks to improve the educational attainment, employability, leadership and social mobility of people through mentoring, education and personal development.
Registered Friends of Hounslow's Promise can get a discount on tickets to the Gala Dinner, paying just £40 instead of the regular rate of £75. You can register to become a Friend here.
The second Hounslow’s Promise Masterclass hosted BBC journalist Jasmin Buttar and the Financial Times’ Peter Campbell. They were quizzed by the young attendees and the Chair of Hounslow’s Promise, Seema Malhotra MP. The two high profile journalists spoke about their career journey, the changing shape of the journalism industry and provided a bigger perspective of the big challenges journalism faces today. The discussion provided attendees with a pragmatic understanding of the ever-changing world of journalism, with a local student describing it as “an honest and eye opening experience about what it means to be a journalist”.
Click here to see Heston West Big Local’s volunteer Serena Lola’s blog post of the event. (note: this will open an external link)
Special thanks to Sprint Logistics for sponsoring the event and to Kingsley Academy for kindly providing the venue.
Law Masterclass with Lord Neuberger
In the first of Hounslow's Promise's series of masterclasses, the former President of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger, headlined a discussion panel taking questions from local children interested in the field of law. He was accompanied by solicitor Ammar Khan from Access2Lawyers who conducted the questions alongside the Chair of Hounslow's Promise, Seema Malhotra MP. The event gave local children an insight into the life of one of the most senior lawmakers within the UK and what skills are required to be successful within law disciplines. The event was a great success with one Gumley School student describing the event as "Insightful, engaging and inspiring". This was the first in a series of master classes that will be hosted by Hounslow's Promise in the upcoming months
One year on since the launch of Hounslow's Promise the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP, hosted Hounslow Promise participants to celebrate the efforts made throughout the year by the community. The event marked the graduation of the first cohort of mentees and their mentors of the Hounslow' Promise Community Mentoring Scheme and welcomed the new mentors and mentees onto the scheme.
The event was hosted in the Speaker's State Rooms in the House of Commons with the Speaker of the house stating "I am absolutely delighted to host the First Anniversary of Hounslow's Promise, I have always championed social mobility and I will continue to do so. I wish Seema Malhotra MP and the Hounslow's Promise initiative the best for the future".
Chair of Hounslow's Promise, Seema Malhotra MP, stated: "Hosting the Anniversary of Hounslow's Promise in the Speaker's State Rooms was an apt setting to recognise the outstanding achievements of the mentors and mentees. The event was an opportunity to gather together supporting businesses, teachers, local councillors and participating members of the community to celebrate this milestone and to recommit ourselves to the goals and purpose of Hounslow's Promise".