Why this campaign now?
We are the HMCK Charity. We want to raise £40,000 to buy new laptops for students in south west London who have been hit worst by school closures during the Covid-19 lockdown. Like never before, the Covid-19 crisis has focussed attention on the needs of children whose levels of achievement are suffering because they come from less fortunate backgrounds. Covid-19 has created an urgent need for online access for all students in the coming months.
Who will benefit?
Under the Charity’s new “Transforming Life Chances” campaign, four schools with whom we partner, have identified 303 pupils who would benefit most from laptops and gain vital online access to education. They are Ricard’s Lodge High School, Raynes Park High School and Harris Academy, Wimbledon in the borough of Merton and Grey Court School in Richmond.
If the laptop campaign is successful, we hope to extend it to the other schools in the Wimbledon Partnership: Coombe Girls’ School, Coombe Boy’s School, St Mark’s Academy and Ursuline School, all in South West London.
Our charity was set up in memory of Heather McKissack, who taught chemistry at King’s College School in Wimbledon for more than 40 years. She helped establish the Wimbledon Partnership with eight local state schools with the aim of helping academically gifted young people achieve their potential whatever their circumstances. She was made an MBE in 2016 in recognition of this work and was described by the headmaster of King’s as “the school’s equivalent of a national treasure.”
Every child should be able to achieve their potential.
Heather saw partnerships between state and private schools as a key means of encouraging social mobility, which is already showing signs of slowing down because of coronavirus. The HMCK Charity is continuing the work which she was unable to complete and this campaign to get laptops to ambitious, talented young people is our first high profile fundraising campaign.
Heather McKissack believed passionately that every child, regardless of background, privilege or circumstances should be able to achieve their potential. Help us deliver Heather's vision.