Charity offers to repurpose unwanted digital devices


Local charity Climate Action Ilkley is working with Digital Access West Yorkshire (DAWY) to help connect local communities and families by collecting unwanted tech such as laptops and tablets for wiping and redistribution to those who’ll benefit instantly from digital access.


Residents and organisations are being encouraged to have a clear-out of unneeded devices by 17th January, Climate Action Ilkley volunteers will collect and deliver to Digital Access West Yorkshire in a covid-aware way. They in turn will wipe, reset, clean and distribute the goods to a recipient referred to either themselves or their Bradford-based partners Solidaritech by a local community organisation or school.


Requested devices (including charging cables & leads) are tablets, laptops, PCs and mobile phones which are less than 5 years old and still in working order. Donations should be put into a bag or box, with chargers attached or bagged with the relevant device. Individual covid-safe collections can be arranged by emailing techcollection@climateactionilkley.org.uk ASAP.


All donations will be delivered directly to DAWY, where a computer specialist will wipe the machine’s data at the earliest possible point and reset it to its original factory settings. No personal data will remain on any devices that are distributed. If donors prefer, they can wipe their own machine before donating it, following the guidelines at www.accesswy.org. In particular iTunes accounts should be removed from any Apple devices, otherwise their security means they’re rendered useless.


Climate Action Ilkley member & local resident Ruth McBain, who is coordinating the collection, says “With the latest lockdown, we continue to see divisions widening across our society, including those caused by a lack of access to technology. The difference in access to online schooling is so variable across our region. I’m sure many of us have unwanted devices in our homes and offices, especially after Christmas, which could now be professionally cleaned and repurposed, enabling someone nearby to access their schooling or work from home. It will also keep valuable natural resources out of landfill, so it’s a win-win.”


DAWY co-founder Gael Timbers adds “The majority of children are now reliant on online education. From joining video-conference classrooms, through to leveraging online educational content from BBC Bitesize and others, without access to a computer, many children are missing out. We have also seen over the past year just how reliant we are on technology for other aspects of our lives, from ordering shopping online through to video calls with colleagues and loved ones. Please help us to support children and families across the region by addressing inequalities and a digital divide, making sure that more people can connect during this difficult time.”


If anyone wishes to volunteer to coordinate similar collections elsewhere in Wharfedale, please contact Digital Access West Yorkshire directly or coordinate with Ruth by emailing techcollection@climateactionilkley.org.uk.


If you don’t have a device to give, you can also donate to DAWY via their website.

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