THE Covid-19 crisis means that what is dubbed as ‘learning at home’ or ‘digital learning’ or ‘distance learning’ have become the norm for all learners now.

I have three teenage daughters, so I know just what it’s like. However, some learners either do not have any computers, laptops or tablet devices at home or they have to share with other family members, or their internet connection is weak. They have become ‘digitally-excluded’ and the need to remedy their exclusion is urgent.

The Welsh Government is funding all Welsh local authorities to enable schools to distribute their devices to all their pupils who need them at home. In addition, a Wi-fi dongle is supplied where internet connection is weak but a 4G mobile phone signal is present. In Powys, the council has already delivered over 700 such devices and 500 dongles to pupils in their homes. The Welsh Government will then replace all the distributed devices with new ones for the schools.

These arrangements will help our learners (of all ages) receive the best education possible while keeping them and school staff as safe as possible. We must not forget that many school staff are still running 15 school-based hubs across Powys, seven days per week, providing an invaluable childcare service for the most vulnerable children and those of key workers.

Volunteer groups in our communities have worked tirelessly to help the most vulnerable. I am so proud of our communities and how we all look after each other. PAVO has been leading the volunteer response across Powys and it can help with organising shopping and pharmacy collections if anyone needs them, on 01597 828649 or at

Times are really tough for nearly all businesses and organisations. The Welsh and UK Governments have put together extensive packages of support to try and help them through this crisis. Useful sources of advice are the Business Wales telephone helpline on 03000 603000 and the Powys County Council Business Support Hotline on 01597 827463.

I and my team are available at We will always do our very best to assist everyone who contacts us.