During the first lockdown, we loaned out our entire fleet of laptops – that’s 20 in total. A few were struggling to keep up with our work, but they were fine for basic use. We decided to let their users keep them rather than asking for them back.
Shortly after, one of our local tech companies – Zoonou – very kindly donated some of their old kit to us. This meant we could expand the scheme and help more people.
This week we received a plea from a local secondary school. They urgently needed computers for some year 11 students so they could keep up with their GCSEs.
As well as helping them, we’re also testing out a few new ideas. The school is helping us work out if we can send computers with different operating systems. High spec Windows and Apple machines are hard to come by, so we wondered if other set ups would help people.
Today we’re shipping six laptops. Two are Windows, two use an open source operating system called Linux, and the last two are Chromebooks.
We’re also helping other organisations with laptop loans, including Southdown Housing and Age UK Croydon. This work costs money, so we’re on the look out for more funding. Donations are very welcome!
People can’t get online for all sorts of reasons. Skills, money, time, confidence and more besides. It’s complicated, and we’re trying to tackle all of these issues.
Imagine you’re thinking about getting yourself online. Where do you start? What device do you need? Will you be able to do what you need? Does the need to commit to a 12 month contract make you feel nervous about starting?
We’re hoping that our light-touch approach will allow people to “try before they buy”. It’ll also help us understand problems, and find solutions. Watch this space for updates!