Co-ops Supporting Co-ops During Covid-19
Published date: March 2020
As a telecoms co-operative we’re privileged to be in the position to help key workers and businesses keep going during this challenging time. With school’s being closed for all children other than key workers the education sector are facing new challenges and need to find new ways to work together.
Last week when schools across the country were told they were being shut down there was mass confusion and worries about how teachers and support staff could communicate with their pupils. With exams on the horizon and schools with SEN children, keeping in contact has never been so important.
Co-op Academy Southfield, a Co-op Academies Trust special school, took this problem very seriously and immediately looked for a solution. Their school leaders were worried about how to keep in touch with vulnerable pupils with special educational needs. These pupils would likely struggle to do their online study programmes and could be scared and isolated by the loss of routine and social contact.
They quickly tried to source 40 mobile phones for their teachers so they could stay in contact with their vulnerable pupils and make a scary time less worrying for them. Easing this transition from school learning to online working from home also helps the parents of these children who were suddenly facing a new societal and financial burden through enforced lockdown.
Unfortunately their regular telecoms provider couldn’t respond quickly enough or guarantee that they could supply 40 handsets by the following week.
Luckily they called us at The Phone Co-op and explained to our sales manager Aaron Townson that they were a Co-op Acadamies Trust special school and expressed the importance of getting these phones.
As a Co-op we weren’t going to let another Co-op struggle in their time of need so our departments pulled together to source and build 40 phones. To ensure that we weren’t adding to any financial strain to the school we gave them a Co-op discount as to us it was so important that this school could keep their communication channels open with their pupils.
The very next day 40 mobile phones arrived to the school by courier, ready to use and were handed out to staff straight away. They are enabling staff to keep in touch with children who don’t have an understanding of why they are not in school and this lifeline will make such a big difference and a link to normality during what could be weeks in isolation.
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