Bristol24/7 is supporting a project to get 600 reconditioned laptops into the hands of those people most in need.
Everyone in Bristol can take part in the project by donating their old laptops (with the power cable) to be reconditioned and distributed among disadvantaged families in the city.
Laptops For Bristol was launched by Councillor Cleo Lake with support from Avon Fire & Rescue Service, Bristol Waste, and Digilocal.
DigiLocal is a charity supports the education of young people by giving them access to technology, with support from partners such as IntoUniversity, who run learning centres in Easton and Withywood.
“Throughout lockdown we worked with lots of families and supported students to complete their schoolwork,” says Emily Magrath, who works at IntoUniversity.
“Many do not have access to a laptop and might only be able to access their work via a phone. Others are sharing with siblings – sometimes up to six to one laptop. Under these circumstances, children fall behind educationally. There is a huge digital divide in our city.
“Even now that schools are open, most homework needs to be completed on a laptop. It is vital that these students don’t fall further behind and access to laptops can make a huge difference.”
“The project has been happening for a while, but the need in the city is so great and we weren’t getting enough laptops,” says John Bradford, chief executive of DigiLocal.
“Then we joined the Bristol Innovators’ Group and were introduced to people across the city who are working to have a positive impact by developing new and innovative projects. That’s how we connected with Bristol24/7, and I’m now optimistic that we can get everyone in Bristol connected to the technology they need to access the best education and opportunities.”
Can I donate to Laptops For Bristol?
DigiLocal can accept any working laptop with a power cable that is in good condition, except Apple laptops such as Macbook Pro. The project doesn’t include desktops, tablets, or any other items.
Where can I donate?
Take your old laptop and power cable, in a sealed plastic bag, to your nearest Avon Fire & Rescue Station. You can find all the information you need to submit with your laptop at: bit.ly/LaptopsForBristol
What happens to my laptop?
Clean your laptop with alcohol gel and place it in a bag before donating.
Complete a donation form, officially handing over possession of the laptop. Your details will not be used for any other purposes.
Your laptop will be cleaned at every stage to ensure the safe distribution.
DigiLocal will wipe all data from the laptop. Make sure you have backed up and kept any information you want before you donate.
The team will install a new operating system and software packages so your laptop will be ready for a new user.
The laptops are distributed via trusted partners including Bristol City Council and IntoUniversity
How do I find out more?
Visit bit.ly/LaptopsForBristol for more information. Share your donation on social media using #GiveNTech. Sign up to Better Bristol to get regular updates at my.bristol247.com/join
All photos: DigiLocal