Access Group Opens Up Access Juniors to support parents struggling with homeworking and childcare

A leading business software provider is opening up resources from its internal educational portal after proving a hit with hundreds of its own employees working from home during lockdown.

Staff at The Access Group, which supports thousands of mid-sized UK companies, created the “Access Juniors” concept to help their own colleagues trying to juggle work and keeping their children engaged with learning.

The resource hub originally launched on the Access Workspace platform and features a range of resources covering maths, languages, science and reading—as well as ideas to keep kids active and healthy, with examples for movement and mindfulness. Access Juniors sends out weekly challenges, encouraging children to submit pictures of their work and earn virtual badges and certificates.

So far, it has been accessed by over 250 children ranging in age from 1 – 15. Access hopes more children across the UK can benefit from the resources and challenges. The group will now be sharing regular challenges across its social media profiles using #AccessJuniors.

Claire Scott, Access Group Chief People Officer, said: “The inspiration for launching Access Juniors came from an employee on my team, Sue Evans, after speaking with parents about their struggles to keep their children entertained whilst they were working. If you’ve got a great idea at Access you can just do it and Sue made it happen. Supporting our team in any way we can has never been more important and it’s great we’re now able to expand this wonderful resource to a bigger audience.”

Amongst the features of Access Juniors is the option to discover British Sign Language and practice basic greetings, while at the same time learning about Access Group’s chosen charity of 2020, The National Deaf Children’s Society.

The Access team is also inviting children to join in its ‘Spread the Smiles’ campaign, where children are encouraged to produce rainbow pictures, colourful art and even write letters, posters and postcards to share with care homes and charities that would benefit from a positive link to the world outside.

Amongst the first to benefit from Access Juniors was Access charity customer Charnwood Community Action Hub.

Karen Frostick from the charity, said: “It’s the little things that make the big difference right now. Our Community Hub is based in the centre of town and is supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our community. The pictures from Access Juniors have really helped to brighten up our centre and spread some cheer to everyone who comes into or passes the hub.”

An Access colleague using Access Juniors with their children commented: “Watching the news you see people losing their jobs, worrying about the future, protecting their families, trying to keep this terrible virus at bay. Then Access does something like this. Thank you, I love my job so much. It actually made me cry.”

Access Juniors challenges are also being opened up to the wider online community and will be posted on LinkedIn featuring #AccessJuniors.