An online class focused on the Black Lives Matter movement will kickstart a month of activities aimed at readying Erith and Thamesmead’s youth for a potential return to school in September.

Launched by local MP Abena Oppong-Asare, the programme of virtual events, titled Get Ready For September, is aimed at helping students prepare for a return to school following a six-month coronavirus-induced suspension.

Running throughout August, the first-term MP said the online workshops would give students the chance to discuss careers, their education, social issues and take part in fun activities ahead of returning to classes next month.

“I’ve organised this summer programme to help students feel more prepared for the Autumn when they may be going back to school, heading to university for the first time or entering the jobs market,” Ms Oppong-Asare said.

The first activity will take place on Friday, August 7 and will focus on the Black Lives Matter movement, with families across the Erith and Thamesmead area invited to join the live discussion.

Among those dropping into the call are east London DJ and producer Funk Butcher, Bexley youth group members from Active Horizons and local school teacher Tamara Hunter.

Ms Oppong-Asare said the month of classes were aimed at plugging social and educational gaps that children may have suffered from during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Covid-19 has impacted young people’s mental health and the majority of students have missed out on crucial learning and support from schools during the lockdown,” she said.

“Not only have students had to deal with the challenges posed by Covid-19 but many will be dealing with other challenges and issues such as, moving away to university for the first time or understanding the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Unfortunately, schools have not been able to help students through these important aspects of their lives so hopefully this programme will provide an opportunity for young people and their families to ask for support and advice on these issues.”

Other events already locked in are weekly fitness classes and careers advice sessions with Greenwich councillor Anthony Okereke, while other workshops will give advice on dealing with mental health and exam stress.

Ms Oppong-Asare joined unions earlier this year in raising concerns about a June re-opening of schools being too soon due to the pandemic.

While the current plan is for students to return to school in September, this could still be changed as local lockdowns are enforced and stricter measures are imposed by the Government.

Held online and completely free, students and families interested in taking part in the summer programme can find details here or email for more details.