Parents raise thousands for home-learning supplies in Hackney and London

Louise Waidhofer and Alexander Waidhofer

Louise Waidhofer and her eldest son Alexander. - Credit: Louise Waidhofer

A team of parents are helping disadvantaged Hackney students access school supplies while children are learning at home for the second time.

Louise Waidhofer, 36, from Camden, said she wanted to find a way to help after hearing about the struggles some parents went through during the first lockdown in March 2020.

"I feel like during the first lockdown, everyone was saying we’re all in this together, but I have been made acutely aware that is very much not the case,” said Louise. "The haves and the have-nots have been highlighted."

She put out an initial call for help on the Facebook group Family Lockdown Tips & Ideas and amassed more than 300 comments.

"Now we have a team of about 30 people in a WhatsApp group,” said Louise. "We very much feel like we’re stabbing in the dark, but we’re getting there with the help of headteachers who have a great network."


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The team are collecting everything from textbooks to stationery such as pens and pencils, and have also been donating to families affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

Louise said: “I started it about laptops, but so many teachers said to me: 'For some of these kids, it would make a world of difference to them if you just gave them a pencil and a ruler.'

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"I thought, for the price of an iPad, I can get hundreds of pencils and rulers."

A crowdfunding page has been set up and has already received more than £9,500 in donations. The fundraising team are working with schools to create "shopping lists" to help tailor supplies to the needs of their students.

Louise has also been receiving donations.

"We’ve had loads of stationary delivered, and with all of that stuff, I’ve also been given a horn, a trumpet and viola.

"So we’re going to try and donate those to a school as well," she said.

Some of the schools in Hackney receiving donations include Holy Trinity CofE Primary School in Dalston, Shacklewell Primary School in Hackney, and Grazebrook Primary School in Stoke Newington.

However, the team has extended its offer to help across the area.

Donate school supplies by emailing louisebeecham@hotmail.co.uk and view the fundraiser at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/louise-waidhofer

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