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Giving new life to unloved laptops

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An ethical IT business has launched a scheme to source unwanted computers to refurbish for people who need digital skills to help build
a positive future.

Cosmic, a social enterprise based in Honiton, Devon, provides training and digital support for individuals and communities. They are operating the scheme in tandem with Pluss’ Positive People project, a programme that offers a lifeline to people who are not in work, helping them to build confidence and skills.

“There are many people who don’t have access to a computer, but there are just as many computers not being used! Cosmic came up with a way to combine the two,” says Emma Wescott, Partnership Manager at Pluss.

The organisations are asking local businesses and individuals in Devon to donate functional laptops they’re no longer using. Their team will upgrade the devices to a basic specification before then passing them on to people who are out of work to help boost their digital skills and connectivity.

Access to a computer is now an important part of everyday life, especially if you are looking for employment, setting up your own business or learning new skills. It also offers vital social connection and inclusion for more vulnerable or isolated members of the community.

Ben Fayter, Digital Skills Advisor, Positive People Devon, said: “It is essential, especially in these turbulent times, that everyone has access to the internet to enable social interaction and perform basic daily essential tasks.

“By allowing us to safely refurbish your unwanted devices, you are giving that lifeline to an individual who would not be able to attain it otherwise.

“The refurb project is a great way for local organisations and individuals to give back a little something to those who need it the most.”

One programme participant said: “Positive People were kind enough to give me a laptop, so I could do my online training and apply for jobs.

“Without this device, I would have been unable to successfully find employment. Now I have the means to I have purchased my own device and it was only right that I donate this one back to Positive People, so they can redistribute it and help more people.”

If you want to donate or learn more about the project, please contact benfayter@cosmic.org.uk

Positive People is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.

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