When the UK entered the first Covid-19 lockdown back in March, the web was hailed as a saving grace but in a digital age, it’s easy to overlook that not everyone has the skills, technology or resources to access the web.
While those of us with a high-speed connection were battling for adequate bandwidth to stream Netflix in high definition, an estimated 1.9 million households had no access to the internet and this, coupled with a prevalence of device poverty, disrupted young people’s education and led to an increased sense of isolation for others.
TechResort laptop loan scheme
TechResort – a volunteer team of tech and digital enthusiasts who come together to share their digital skills and knowledge with the aim of closing the digital divide – created a laptop loan scheme to support those in their local community to help with schooling, work or access vital health support services; from students studying A-Levels to connecting people via Age UK’s ‘Befriending’ scheme.
Liz, Director at TechResort commented: “We’ve seen a real increase in the uptake of our donated equipment throughout the year and have seen first hand just how much of an impact it’s had on those who have received a laptop.
Two families had both been displaced, due to the pandemic, and re-housed and didn’t really have many possessions. Both had school-aged children who were no longer enrolled in a local school and both families were keen for children not to get too behind and so were hoping to access online learning like BBC Bitesize. We were contacted by their social workers who said what an enormous difference it had made to them.
Two laptops were dispatched to Age UK with a couple of mobile broadband access points for their “befrienders” who could then deliver these to shielding elderly contacts enabling them to get on line and access a range of essential services remotely.”
How can you help?
With all of the initial laptops and other devices quickly snapped up, Zoonou donated over 10 extra laptops to the scheme but anyone, individual or business, can donate to the scheme.
So, dig out that old laptop or tablet, or even your old mobile device and get in touch with Zoonou or TechResort and we’ll send you instructions on how you can donate it.
Alternatively, you can donate to the TechResort Community Interest Company to help continue the amazing work they are doing both locally and nationally.