Projects: Donate a device

TechResort started refurbishing and donating laptops back in the first Covid-19 lockdown, and we’re continuing to meet this growing need

Funding

Multiple funders including Sussex Community Foundation, Blagrave Trust, Local Giving and the Postcode Community Trust

Activities

Many people in Eastbourne and across the UK are unable to get online – access to a suitable laptop, tablet or phone is a common reason.

Back in March 2020, we decided to do something about this. We began by loaning spare laptops we had in the office – after all, we weren’t using them!

It quickly became clear that we didn’t have enough laptops to help everyone, so we put out a call for donations. We were looking for laptops, preferably under 10 years old, that could be re-used by people in need.

By January 2022, TechResort had worked on 250 laptops – it’s made a huge difference to our community. Either people are able to get online for the first time, or they’re able to get more screen time. We heard that many families are sharing a single device, and often have to stay up till the early hours waiting for their turn.

Many public services are exclusively online – such as Universal Credit, EU Settled Status and Healthy Start – so this is vital work.

If you have a device to donate, please complete this form. Thanks

Learnings

The biggest single thing we’ve learned from this project is that the need is huge and growing. So many people in Eastbourne are unable to get online, and we’re proud to be helping.

We’ve also learned that Windows laptops are the best devices to refurbish and donate. They tend to be usable for longer and cheaper to repair than Apple equivalents. Older machines can be fitted with a less resource intensive operating system – such as Linux – and still be useful for years to come.

By working with local councils, we’ve been able to massively increase the amount of laptops available to donate. They’re often reluctant or unable to donate old equipment, but we’ve been able to alleviate their concerns. If you have questions about donating devices, please get in touch.

This project has also been useful work experience for young people. Many have struggled to find suitable placements due to lockdown, but we’ve been able to find them good things to learn and do. Thanks to Blagrave Trust for work experience funding.

Finally, we presented this work at a recent webinar, and you can see more learnings here.

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