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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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Liverpool City Region donates hundreds of digital devices

The Combined Authority of Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram has donated hundreds of old desktop, laptop, and monitor computers to a charitable programme for individuals who are disadvantaged by technology.

It is the first organisation outside of London to join the National Device Bank, a recycling programme managed by the Good Things Foundation that has provided free technology to over 126 individuals in the metropolitan area to date.

Liverpool City Region donates hundreds of digital devices

Donors have contributed over 200 devices, which will undergo professional refurbishment before being distributed to those in need.

The partnership is the most recent in a series of initiatives to improve digital connectivity and support. The initiative was introduced last year and intends to give 4,750 tablets, training, and mobile internet to residents.

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Digital and Innovation and Leader of Wirral Council Cllr Paul Stuart said:

“Digital exclusion is a key barrier for many in the city region, with hundreds of thousands of individuals struggling to get online due to a lack of access to affordable devices, connectivity or digital skills. Schemes such as the National Devicebank are critical to ensuring our residents are able to gain access to devices to help them navigate the modern digital world – whether booking an NHS appointment, contacting their friends and family, or saving up to £900 a year through better deals. I encourage all businesses to examine what they can do with their old ICT kit, and consider donating to the Devicebank”

Both the Device Bank and the National Databank—often compared to a food bank but for mobile data—are run by the Good Things Foundation.

The Combined Authority is one of the more than 60 centres in the city region that are registered databanks (CA).

To date, the CA has given retired phones and more than 35,000 gigabytes of free data to 300 participants in our Housing First and Households into Work programmes.

In addition, the nonprofit manages the National Digital Inclusion Network, which has 140 operational Digital Inclusion Hubs in the Liverpool City Region and thousands of organisations offering free local assistance to individuals utilising and accessing the internet.

Liverpool City Region donates hundreds of digital devices

In the Liverpool City Region, five of these hubs have so far received 126 refurbished devices; however, the demand for free IT equipment is five times higher than the supply at this time.

The organisation hopes that by using the city-region as an example, more hubs will apply, popularising the programme and increasing business and enterprise donations.

Helen Milner OBE, Group Chief Executive Officer, Good Things Foundation, said:

“We’re thrilled that the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has donated to the National Device Bank, becoming the first Local Authority outside of London to donate. The National Device Bank is our free alternative solution to IT asset disposal that tackles corporate e-waste and gets refurbished devices into the hands of people that can’t afford their own.

“With 1 in 14 UK households with no access to the internet at home, we need to act now to ensure people aren’t locked out of the online world. This donation not only prevents valuable tech from ending up in landfill but also places it directly into the hands of those who need it most. I urge other organisations to follow Liverpool City Region’s lead and donate to the National Device Bank, helping people and the planet.”

To find out more about the Combined Authority’s work on this issue, join the Digital Inclusion Network here.

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