HOME-SCHOOLING during lockdown can be a struggle for many children.

And this is especially so if they lack the necessary basic IT equipment at home.

As a result, efforts are being made in the community to help ensure youngsters can keep up with their vital education.

James Long and wife Emma have launched a charity, Byte, which focuses on getting young people the equipment, the knowledge and the connectivity they need to be able to learn.

They have set up an appeal for any unused tablets, laptops, desktops and other equipment which can then be refurbished and redistributed throughout St Helens.

The charity has been using a base at the 8th Scout Group in Sutton.

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James said: "It is something that has been highlighted by the situation we find ourselves in with Covid but it has existed before.

"I've worked with children and volunteer as a magistrate it is something you do see, you see the knock-on effects.

"Not everybody can afford to spend £300 on the latest tablet, even if they could get hold of it.

"It puts children who are already socio-economically disadvantaged in an even worse position and really compounds the effect."

Byte is also looking to work with schools in the area to help with the issue.

For more about the charity and to donate contact the Byte Charity Facebook page.

Meanwhile, the town centre-based charity The Hope Centre has also launched a new pop up project to help the upcoming generation.

They have dusted off a couple of unused laptops and printers, checked that they power up and have been in touch with Carmel College who are able to digitally clean them and then pass them on.

Anyone who has a working preloved laptop or i-Pad or similar gathering dust is asked to drop them off, with a power/charging cable too, at the Hope Centre, who will contact local schools to rehome home them.

People are asked to ‘clean’ them of any sensitive information - however the centre will ask the schools to make sure that they’re checked and cleaned before passing on.

Carmel work experience co-ordinator, Vikki Jones, said: "What a difference they will make.

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart I'm imagining some faces next week when they've maybe been doing all of their work on a mobile phone, maybe not even their phone, imagine the joy of being given a laptop."

Donations can be made to the Hope Centre, on Atherton Street on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.