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ByAbbie Osguthorpe

May 5, 2020

A Sunderland school will be able to provide meals for vulnerable families during the coronavirus after receiving a cash grant from Metro Radio’s Cash for Kids.

Academy 360 in Pennywell, Sunderland, which is part of the multi-academy trust, Laidlaw Schools Trust, had become worried about pupils and families who were likely to be experiencing food poverty or on low incomes – some families have seen their finances reduced due to being furloughed or to delays in obtaining benefits.

The welfare team at Academy 360, which works closely with students and families, was able to identify those who needed an extra level of support due to the detrimental impact of the coronavirus.

After being awarded a grant of £1890.00 from Metro Radio’s Cash for Kids, the school is now confident it can meet the demand during the pandemic.

Primary Welfare Lead/Designated Safeguarding Deputy at Academy 360, Ruth Steckles, said:

“Many local families in our community are struggling to adapt to the unprecedented challenges coronavirus is presenting.

“This grant from Cash for Kids will help alleviate some of the worries and concerns our families have about being able to provide regular meals for their children. It will enable them to use the finances they have to prioritise essential bills.”

Cash for Kids is Bauer Radio’s network of local charities, which operates across 22 areas around the UK.  Through Cash for Kids, their mission is to respond to the needs of children in need and enable all children to live life to the full and achieve their individual potential.

Ruth continued:

“We are working to support our students and families during the lockdown.  We are able to provide help and guidance throughout the school closure and with regular contact from the welfare team, this provides the forum to raise any worries or concerns, which we work tirelessly to address or signpost families to the appropriate support.

“The Laidlaw Schools Trust’s ethos is to provide the support mechanisms necessary to help our students reach their potential irrespective of ability or background.  By ensuring we are supporting our families with this initiative allows us to fulfil our ethos to alleviate worries and stress and enable our families and students to have the resources they need.”

Rachel Donohue, principal at Academy 360, added: “I should like to extend our thanks to Cash for Kids and the generous donation that has been made for us to help our families.  It makes me very proud to see the fantastic level of support our staff at Academy 360 are committed to providing to the local community, particularly in these troubled times. The team have really pulled together, and I believe we’ve made a significant difference to the standard of wellbeing and safeguarding of our families.”