Community groups and charities are being given the opportunity to apply for free laptops and desktop computers to help people who struggle to get digital access.Birmingham City Council is currently in the process of refurbishing several thousand devices for use in our communities. The initial pilot scheme for the Birmingham Device Bank was a great success, with over 600 devices distributed to 85 charities across the city.
Councillor Jayne Francis, Cabinet Member for Digital, Culture, Heritage and Tourism said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity for charities and community groups who are helping people without digital access. With too many families already struggling to heat their homes and put food on the table, digital access can be completely out of reach, even though it is so important.
“With this support, these organisations can help people build digital skills and confidence and help people apply for jobs and benefits they are entitled to.
“I’d encourage any organisations that think they may qualify to find out more. It will really support the great work they are already doing.”
The Council is inviting other organisations to be a part of this movement by donating their old devices so that it can continue to ensure that digital devices are available to those that need it most. To enquire how to donate your devices contact firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to the Device Bank the city council has been working with partner organisations to help people in need. The council ran a ‘Summer of Skills’ programme last year over 11 dates in 7 key libraries across the city. 22 volunteers from 3 organisations (Barclays, Experian, and AbilityNet) supported 128 citizens with digital skills queries, and distributed 75 laptops directly to individuals in need, alongside 28 sim cards from The Good Things Foundation’s National Databank, supported by Vodafone and Virgin Media O2.
The importance of digital inclusion is recognised within the Council’s Digital City Roadmap which sets out a number of major programmes and projects to create a Digital Birmingham.
Digital inclusion is central to the Council’s Digital City Roadmap which sets out a number of major programmes and projects to create a truly Digital Birmingham for all.