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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Backed by Reebok founder, RaisingAMillion campaign launches to help schools meet basic needs

Reebok Founder, Joe Foster, is launching a LetsLocalise  #RaisingAMillion campaign to help state schools nationwide meet increasingly basic needs – from school meals, pencils and books to sports equipment and hand sanitiser – after budgets drop to 2010 levels in real terms and calls for help escalate.

Joe Foster, Chairperson of LetsLocalise, a digital and social innovation platform that brings schools and local communities closer, is giving his time, contacts and business skills to lead the #RaisingAMillion campaign to help 1 million schoolchildren across the UK – as schools face a growing crisis of escalating costs and reduced funding due to rising inflation.  While some schools are even now considering a three day week due to soaring energy bills and other costs.

The #RaisingAMillion campaign is calling on donations from individuals, communities and businesses nationwide to help state schools meet their resourcing needs this year. For example, Whinmoor St Paul’s Church of England Primary School in Leeds is requesting books for its first-ever dedicated library after transforming its church room. It now needs book donations, or funds for some new books to help complete the library and would appreciate all donations. While Devoran School in Cornwall is requesting money donations so it can support families in purchasing new school tracksuits while also ensuring that children have adequate clothing for PE days.

Says Joe Foster: “While I came from a humble background and only started my formal education at ten because schools weren’t operating as normal in Bolton due to the second world war, I immediately valued my education – especially when I went to technical college at 13 to study engineering.

“This training was invaluable and enabled myself and my brother to set up our own shoemaking factory when I was just 23 years old and set me on the path as a business owner and founder of Reebok.

“The pandemic has unleashed an unprecedented crisis and triggered the biggest learning emergency in current times. We know schools today are dealing with incredible challenges, from the pandemic to soaring costs.  With LetsLocalise and my wife Julie, the #RaisingAMillion campaign will support all state schools across the UK and help give schools and 1 million schoolchildren the resources they need to enhance their learning experience and transform their futures – just as I did.”

Funds raised from #RaisingAMillion will go straight towards state schools on LetsLocalise which is on a mission to bridge the gap that school underfunding and rising costs have created. Funds will be allocated to resources across five categories, school meals, literacy, STEM education, music and sports.

Since it was founded in 2018, LetsLocalise has become a ‘digital village’ of schools, local communities and businesses working towards a collective goal of providing students with better resources and opportunities, along with transparency on where donated funds will go. Businesses already working with the platform to supply financial donations, match-funding or direct resources include Legal & General, Cognizant, Verizon, the Ocado Group, L’Oreal and Three.

Adds LetsLocalise Founders, Divya Garg and Gaurav Garg: “We’re seeing a growing crisis in state schools as headteachers and staff struggle to provide sufficient resources of even the most basic items due to real-term budget cuts and rocketing costs which is creating an influx in demand. Schools are already at risk of running a deficit with parts of their budget already overstretched – and the increase in energy costs means current budgets will struggle even further to cover this worrying, ever-rising expenditure. The obvious knock-on of a great share of budgets having to be spent on utilities is that state schools, who are already considerably underfunded and overstretched will now have even less budget available to spend on key educational resources.

“While we welcome the news announced by new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, of the new six month energy scheme for all non-domestic energy users including schools, the underfunding crisis runs much further and goes back decades. With a new Government in place, this presents a great opportunity to put schools top of their agenda and to give schools the much urgent financial support they need to try and head off this growing crisis.

“Our mission is to continue to work with schools nationwide so that while every headteacher is trying to sleep at night and facing these unprecedented challenges, money from #RaisingAMillion will be trickling into their school’s bank account so they can buy the essential resources they’ve requested when they wake up.”

LetsLocalise welcomes charity partners, corporate partners, individual supporters and Schools Alumni supporters. To make a donation from as little as a £1 or more visit the #RaisingAMillion page on LetsLocalise.  Additional state schools can sign up and post their urgent requirements on the LetsLocalise platform.  All school signups will be verified and checked by LetsLocalise.

Image: Joe Foster

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcockhttps://businesslancashire.co.uk/
Sam Allcock is a highly regarded digital entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience in online marketing for some of the World’s biggest brands. He has extensive knowledge and experience in SEO and digital marketing. He is based in Cheshire but has an interest in all things going on in the North West and enjoys contributing local news to the site.
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