Published on 6th May 2020

Funding from Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner will support three school children in Runcorn who have recently lost their father to Covid-19.

The £1,000 grant from PCC David Keane’s Safer Communities Fund will allow the children’s school, St Mary’s C of E Primary School on Castlefields Avenue, to purchase equipment to support the children’s emotional wellbeing and mental health.

The express grant is part of a new fund launched by the Commissioner to help communities respond to the pandemic. It takes money seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act and reinvests it into the local community.

They children, who are currently in year 1 and year 3, are at their home with their mother with no family nearby and little contact to the outside world due to the government restrictions.

The school will use the PCC’s funding to purchase an iPad for the family to keep in contact with their family abroad and also for the children to complete school work.

The funding will also pay for sensory equipment to help the younger child who suffers from autism to help reduce anxiety and stress on the family at this difficult time.

PCC David Keane said: “This is an extremely difficult time for many families that have lost loved ones to Covid-19.

“Normally we’d be able to reach out to our support networks including family members, friends and teachers at times of crisis but the current restrictions mean that many people are trying to cope alone.

“Hopefully this grant will help support this family through their ordeal by bringing some normality and vital contact to their lives as they come to terms with their bereavement.”

Rachel Tanish, head teacher of St Mary’s C of E, added: “This funding will support the family during this urgent time of need. They are isolated due to coronavirus, alone, bereaved and have three children at home needing support, one of which has severe autism.

“This sensory equipment will help the child with autism but will also help with the mood of others in the household.

“Having an iPad would help them keep in touch with school and help children to access some learning.”