When you upgrade your computer or phone, what do you do with your old one? Instead of letting unused tech waste away in a cupboard, consider donating it to a local recycling scheme, Community Computers, to repurpose and help people in Stockport get online.
Community Computers, part of the DigiKnow Alliance, which is a partnership of organisations and community groups helping people in Stockport to get online, use donations to maintain the DigiKnow Device Library, which provides free loans of devices to Stockport residents who are without access to their own internet connections and IT equipment, including families with children, job seekers and the socially isolated.
Drop off equipment you no longer use (working or not) at any Stockport library and Community Computers will securely wipe your data, recycle the parts or refurbish and upgrade devices to help people in Stockport who aren’t online. Here’s what people who have benefited from the scheme say:
“Applying for jobs just using my phone is difficult, especially when creating my CV. This will help me with job applications as I’m currently on Job Seekers Allowance.”Stockport resident
“I would like to say how impressed I have been at how Chris from the Community Computers team has been. He works very professionally and has a lot of patience. I am an elderly person with no IT experience.”Stockport resident
“The laptop will be used to keep all our community business and records on it. We at present hold paper copies so having them all stored on a laptop will be such a great help to us all. I cannot thank you enough for allowing us to have one of your laptops – you are all amazing!”Julie Loftus, Chair, Green Thumbs Community Gardens, Brinnington
Cllr David Sedgwick, Cabinet Member for Citizen Focus and Engagement said of the impact the scheme was having on communities in Stockport:
“At Stockport Council we’ve committed to helping as many people as possible to enjoy the benefits that digital brings and ensure no-one gets left behind. This is a fantastic scheme that gives your old devices a new lease of life, and we’ve already had almost 600 donations since we linked up with Community Computers in January. This is phenomenal but most impressive of all are the comments from people who’ve benefited, saying what a difference the donated devices make to their lives. Please look through your cupboards and drawers for unused tech and drop them off at your local library.”
Community Computers is a not-for-profit initiative by Stockport charity Renewal North West who provide training and work experience in IT recycling skills for the long-term unemployed. By donating your old devices, you’ll also play your part in helping the environment. Electronic waste is extremely toxic and should never go to landfill and Renewal North West are specialists in recycling tech, processing electronic waste, and ensuring the proper disposal of hazardous materials.
Wesley Downs, Executive Officer of Renewal North West said:
Thanks to your donations we’ve already been able to put more than 50 refurbished devices back into the community. Please do continue to drop them off at local libraries. We’re also appealing to more local businesses to choose us for your IT recycling. We’ll collect your donations and you can be reassured that devices will be cleaned of all data prior to refurbishing, free of charge. Community Computers is a recycling scheme with a social conscience and we’re passionate about tackling digital exclusion and long-term unemployment as well as reducing e-waste. No other scheme puts your unwanted tech to so many good uses.”
The scheme also accepts donations from businesses, as well as individuals, who can donate surplus and defunct equipment. Organisations who have donated devices say:
“Chubb Insurance are pleased to have partnered with Renewal North West to allow surplus IT equipment to have a new lease of life, by giving those on limited incomes in the North West a new home computer, and internet access. This further supports Chubb’s ongoing work to help ‘Bridge the Digital Divide’ which earlier in the year saw almost 50 laptops donated while the UK entered the second lockdown. We hope these 100 desktops and monitors will have a similar impact.”Alan Dupré, Senior Site Support Analyst, Information Technology, Chubb Insurance
“We have every confidence in the process that Community Computers uses to professionally wipe all data from the old devices, so we’re donating computer equipment that the council no longer uses to the scheme. This is a great way to help more people access the internet, as well as reduce e-waste, and we would encourage other businesses to do the same.”Kirsteen Roe, Service Director for Citizen Focus at Stockport Council
If you know someone who would benefit from an affordable refurbished device contact Community Computers on 0161 476 2777 or visit Renewal North West’s shop in Shaw Heath. If you know someone who would like to get online, but doesn’t know how to get started, there’s a special DigiKnow Helpline to get support from a Digital Champion: 07537 127 095.