AN award-winning business has gifted tablets and mobile phones to support St Helens’ most vulnerable young people who live alone.
Communications Plus Ltd – which has scooped a number of O2 franchise awards as well as Employer of the Year and the Pride of St Helens Business Award at the 2018 Invest St Helens Business Awards – has worked with St Helens Borough Council to develop a plan to support care leavers, not just at Christmas, but all year round.
The Rainford-based company, has provided 10 Samsung Galaxy tablets and 10 smartphones free of charge to help break down the communication barriers many of the young people face due to isolation and not having access to technology and WiFi.
The generous act comes on top of a toy and gift donation made by Communications Plus Ltd for younger children which went towards the Council being able to put together 143 gift hampers for young people leaving the care system, and 450 toy hampers for disadvantaged children and families at risk of waking up on Christmas day without a present.
Natasha Atherton, a 21-year-old care leaver is just one young person to benefit from the gesture.
On receiving her phone, Natasha said: “Words cannot describe how much this means to me. I’m expecting my first child soon and my phone was old and broken so I don’t have to worry now about calling anyone or using the internet which will be an absolute godsend when it comes to arranging health checks and things like that. I can’t thank Communications Plus Ltd and my personal advisor at the council enough for what they have done. Having a phone and access to internet seems normal in this day and age but for me, this is a lifeline and will make a massive difference.”
Steve Roberts, Managing Director and Gary Scouller, Business Development Director at Communications Plus Ltd, commented: “To be able to play a part in the success of young people leaving care and their future is something we are very proud to help with. The work St Helens Borough Council does often goes unrecognised and the support and guidance they give vulnerable young people, who without them would really struggle, is fantastic. Supplying smartphones, tablets and sims will allow care leavers to keep in touch with loved ones, friends and the support network they rely on, especially in the current climate where meeting up in person isn’t always possible. We hope will make a big difference to their lives.”
Thanking Communications Plus Ltd for their contribution, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Children and Young People, Councillor Nova Charlton, said: “Christmas 2020 will be a very different experience for all of us, and even more so for the vulnerable members of our communities – so incredible acts of kindness like this will go a long way in helping improve the quality of life of our care leavers as they begin to live a more independent life.”
Councillor Kate Groucutt, Cabinet Member for Educatiom, Skills and Business, added: “The generosity of residents, businesses, and community organisations here in St Helens Borough has shone through this year with the St Helens Together approach to dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. I’m not surprised to see this spirit continue during the Christmas period and would like to thank everyone who has responded to the community appeals across the borough to support those in our community who are struggling.”
Written by Kelsey Maxwell Chief Reporter for the St Helens Star.