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Sandwell Digital Donations narrows the ‘digital divide’

Published 23rd May 2022

Sandwell Council, the Black Country Housing Group (BCHG) and social enterprise Repc Ltd have together launched Sandwell Digital Donations to help narrow the ‘digital divide’.


 
The new scheme encourages businesses and residents to donate unwanted PCs, laptops and tablets to be wiped, refurbished and given a second lease of life to households and organisations within the borough, thereby narrowing the gap between people in society who have full access to digital technologies and those who have little or no access.
 
Seven local community groups have so far received a total of 100 devices from ‘Sandwell Digital Donations’ project to help support the people of Sandwell to get online. The devices will be used to support refugees, school children, veterans and young carers to get online and improve their digital skills.
 
The project has already received a great response from businesses across the Black Country but more devices are needed. For more information on how to donate, contact digital_donation@sandwell.gov.uk or ring Repc Ltd on 0121 557 6439.
 
Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for housing, Councillor Charn Singh Padda, said:
 
“This is an excellent example of Sandwell residents and businesses pulling together to extend life skills and opportunities to all of the community. Not having access to digital technologies can seriously hinder an individual’s development and life opportunities so I would encourage anyone able to donate to do so.”
 
David Newell, Project Manager from Brushstrokes Community Project in Smethwick, who are one of the first organisations to receive a donation, said:
 
"We really appreciate the donation from Sandwell Digital Donations, the need for our service users to develop their digital skills is more important than ever and these computers will make a huge difference meaning we can support more people to build their skills and confidence in the coming months. "
 
Commenting on this, Katy McAllister, Project Manager at BCHG said:
 
‘We are delighted with the response to our new project and thankful to the local businesses who have already donated, enabling us to support community groups like Brushstrokes.
 
‘’The last few years has been very difficult for those living in Sandwell, but we are hopeful that through this project we can help more community groups and individuals.’’

 

How Sandwell Digital Donation works
What to donate
* Any working device (PC, laptop or tablet).
What to do before donating
* Make sure you save any data you require on a back-up device
* Make sure you have complied with your organisation’s data protection policy on erasing sensitive data.
How to donate
* Ensure the device is fully turned off (and not in sleep mode)
* For Covid safety, clean the outside of the device with alcohol gel
* Contact digital_donation@sandwell.gov.uk
 
Sandwell Digital Donation will:
* Issue verification certificates of data wiping
* Record that you donated the device
* Run a PAT (portable appliance test) for electrical safety
* Distribute it to a Sandwell family in need.
 
Please be aware that Sandwell Digital Donation:
* Will not use your details for any purpose other than proving the device was received in good faith
* Cannot return digital devices to you – they are being donated
* Will not resell, lease or otherwise profit from your donated equipment.