Families struggling with their children's home learning have been given a helping hand by businesses and charitable groups.

Phillips 66 Humber Refinery at Killingholme has donated 100 laptops and software worth £45,000 to local schools in support of pupils' home learning.

The donation came after Grimsby Live highlighted how some families with five children only had one device for virtual learning during the latest lockdown.

Other families who had no devices have been given support by Grimsby and Cleethorpes Liberal Democrats, Les Bonner and Roy Horobin who have received scores of tablets, iPads and phones to give to children.

The volunteers at Phillips 66 Humber Refinery who delivered 100 laptops and software to 14 schools to help the pupils most in need of home learning
The volunteers at Phillips 66 Humber Refinery who delivered 100 laptops and software to 14 schools to help the pupils
most in need of home learning
(Image: submitted by Phillips 66)

They have been made available for use after being donated by Grimsby area businesses and generous individuals.

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Phillips 66 said they wanted to help close the digital divide impacting young people whose education during the current pandemic is suffering from a lack of access of devices or the internet.

The laptops will be distributed among 14 primary and secondary schools in the Grimsby and Scunthorpe areas.

Darren Cunningham, UK director and general manager of the Phillips 66 Humber, said: "Children having access to devices at home for distanced-based learning is a national problem. With many households without access to a laptop, tablet or PC, many of our children are missing out on vital education. We are proud to be able to support some of our schools and help some children who otherwise would not be able to learn. Everyone has the right to an education.

"After the announcement of the latest lockdown, it was revealed a quarter of UK students are unable to properly access online learning. Technology is something many take for granted, but for those who do not have ready access this lockdown has widened this digital divide."

Laptops were donated by Phillips 66 for pupils from Killingholme Primary having to home learn due to the lockdown
Laptops were donated by Phillips 66 for pupils from Killingholme Primary having to home learn due to the lockdown
(Image: submitted by Phillips 66)

There are around one million children without a device for home learning.

A recent report found that 25 per cent of UK students are unable to properly access online learning.

Mr Cunningham said Phillips 66 works to promote economic, social and environmental advancement in the communities it calls home. The company is a long-term advocate of education and literacy, which are at the core of the company's philanthropy program.

Nina Stobart, Phillips 66 public affairs lead, added: "The Refinery Education and Charity team chose to support local students with their learning. These laptops will not just do that but also give those students back a feeling of belonging - being able to stay in touch with their friends and teachers - which will also benefit their wellbeing.

"When this pandemic is over, we do not want a generation of children who, through no fault of their own, find themselves left behind. We are honoured to be able to support them."

Joanne Woodhouse, assistant principal at Havelock Academy, in Grimsby, said: "We are incredibly grateful to Phillips 66, and we know our students and their families will be, too. Our online live learning offer is going from strength to strength, and this will go to ensuring that more of our students can access our offer and continue with their learning."

Students at the University Technical College in Scunthorpe welcome the new laptops donated by Phillips 66 for home learning
Students at the University Technical College in Scunthorpe welcome the new laptops donated by Phillips 66 for home learning
(Image: submitted by Phillips 66)

Jennifer Vincent, director of employer engagement, Scunthorpe, said: "This level of support from Phillips 66 is phenomenal. Some of our students are in need of devices to enable them to continue their learning, so these laptops will go straight out to support their learning journey."

Also delighted is Sandra Fawn, head teacher of Canon Peter Hall CofE Primary School, in Immingham, who said: "Our overwhelming thanks go to Phillips 66 for their generous donation of laptops to further support our pupils and families at Canon Peter Hall CofE primary school. This will enable more of our children to engage in their remote learning at home during the lockdown period and beyond.

"In addition, it can never be overestimated how this will also support their wellbeing through online communication with their friends and staff in school. Thank you again on behalf of all our families at Canon Peter Hall."