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Liverpool City Region programme for digital exclusion

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has given a charity programme dedicated to supporting people who are digitally excluded hundreds of retired desktop computers, laptops, and monitors.

Becoming the first authority outside of London to sign up to the National Device Bank, which is a recycling network run by the Good Things Foundation, more than 126 people across the city region have been helped with free equipment. The number of devices that have been donated has now reached 200, with these going to be professionally refurbished before they are distributed to those that are in need of them.

This development is the latest in the combined authority’s work to improve digital connectivity and support, following on from last year’s launch of the Digital Inclusion Initiative. This aims to provide 4,750 tablets, as well as training and mobile internet to residents in the city region.

Councillor Paul Stuart, Portfolio Holder for Digital and Innovation and Leader of Wirral Council, 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 Device Bank 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 Device Bank”

The Good Things Foundation is responsible for operating the Device Bank and the National Data Bank. Liverpool City Region has more than 60 centres that are registered Databanks, with this including the Combined Authority. Through this, more than 35,000 gigabytes of free data have been provided, as well as retired phones being given to 300 participants through the Households into Work and Housing First programmes.

Group Chief Executive Officer of the Good Things Foundation, Helen Milner OBE, also commented:

“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.”

 

Image credit: iStock

Video credit: Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

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