A new Sandwell partnership is urging local businesses to donate unwanted laptops, tablets and pc’s to people in need, and help to narrow the ‘digital divide’. The ‘digital divide’ is the gap between people in society who have full access to digital technologies and those who do not. Sandwell Digital Donation is a partnership between Sandwell Council, Black Country Housing Group and West Bromwich-based social enterprise Repc Ltd.
The project team collects unwanted or surplus laptops, tablets and pc’s from businesses and organisations. Firstly they ensure all data is deleted safely and legally. After that, they repair and recondition the equipment before passing it on to Black Country Housing who distribute to households within the borough. In the event that the equipment can’t be reused, Repc will ensure it is disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.
Helping reduce digital poverty
“Repc Ltd was set up nearly 20 years now repurposing unwanted IT equipment to help reduce digital poverty amongst some of the UK’s most underserved communities, whilst protecting our environment by reusing equipment and preventing them from ending up in landfill.
We are based in Sandwell, and we are delighted to be working with our council and Black Country Housing to provide much needed IT equipment to those in most need in our borough.
Give your unwanted IT equipment new life by donating them to Sandwell Digital Donation and give a child the opportunity to improve their learning potential and be better prepared for adult life”Bevil Williams- Managing Director, Repc Ltd
Narrowing the digital divide is vital to combatting inequality in Sandwell
“Digital technology is now a vital part of our lives. From finding support and information, to applying for a job and communicating with others – even ordering groceries – people are disadvantaged when they don’t have the technology to do those things online.
The pandemic made this all the more apparent. Families without access to PCs or laptops found home learning very difficult. People needed technology to talk to loved ones. We cannot afford as a society to exclude people from the digital world. So, I’m delighted that Sandwell Digital Donation is not only recycling unwanted equipment but redistributing it to people for whom it might be life changing. I urge businesses across the borough to see what they can donate.”Councillor Maria Crompton is Sandwell Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Strong and Resilient Communities.
How Sandwell Digital Donation works
What to donate
- Any working device (laptop, tablet or pc).
What to do before donating your equipment
- 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 [email protected] or fill out the online donation form and someone will contact you.
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.
For more information and to get your donation started, visit www.thinksandwell.com/sandwell-digital-donation.