Getting tech to those who need it
Inspired by the need for laptops for remote learning during the pandemic, Oxford IT Bank is like a food bank for tech, getting old devices that are sitting on a shelf somewhere cleaned up and passed on to those who would benefit from them.
September update: we're receiving many more offers of desktop computers than we have requests. If you know of any people or charities in need of ddesktop rather than laptop computers, we'd be pleased to hear from you! And we're afraid we can't accept more donations of desktops or monitors until we clear our stock. Keyboards, mice, speakers and webcams welcome!
So far, since January 2021, we've provided over 700 devices to people in need, as well as supporting Getting Oxfordshire Online in delivering an additional 900. Thank you to everyone who's supported this!
How it works
The most useful are laptops, desktops and tablets up to 12 years old, which can often be upgraded with new parts to run the latest operating systems. Check out pre-donation notes here.
I'm hoping to find homes for equipment of all ages and broken devices can be useful for parts so if in doubt, do get in touch and I'll let you know what I can use.
Finally, I'd also be grateful for any money you'd like to donate which supports our operations, buys parts etc. You can donate with zero fees via our PayPal Giving Fund page.
Anybody happy to help with collecting and delivering, this would be appreciated too to speed up the service!
Wipe and Spruce Up
First priority is to ensure all data is securely removed before passing on to a new home.
Then software is refreshed with a modern operating system, as well as possibly fresh hard disks etc to ensure a good experience.
If you're able to help with electrical repairs, such as failed screen hinges, cracked power sockets or unreliable motherboards, I'd be delighted to hear from you.
On to good causes
I work with local charities, with laptops going to families and vulnerable people, and desktops often also helping speed up in-house equipment for the charity to provide better online services.
I would be pleased to hear from any other groups able to pass IT to those in need and support them with getting the most from it.
Devices such as desktops which are tricky for organisations to distribute but still useful for homes are advertised online at low prices, helping those with limited funds, and bringing some money in for repairs and parts.
Whether you want to donate, help out or would like to ask for donations, please email Ben and the volunteer team at email@example.com
If you are wondering who you are entrusting your old computer to, here's my LinkedIn Profile: www.linkedin.com/in/bentuppen/
Fantastic charities helping communities and vulnerable people get online to access education and employment.
Getting Oxfordshire Online is a partnership started by Oxfordshire Community Foundation, with Aspire in Oxford, SOFEA in Didcot and Bicester Green working together to provide refurbishment, support and connectivity to help reduce digital poverty across the county. You can find out more here.
We would first like to thank you for your generosity in providing a laptop and IPad.
Both items will help us transition into sixth form and GCSE’s and will assist us in our studies to achieve the best grades.
Again, we appreciate the help given and will do our best to reach our academic goals.
A & A via Oxford Community Action
A reminder of all the ways you can help
Collection and Distribution
Collecting and delivering in the Oxford area.
"Repair Cafe" skills for electrical repairs such as replacing worn out power sockets
Schools or community organisations who can pass equipment to those in need and help them get set up.
I would also be delighted to hear from any others doing similar IT distribution in the Oxford area. I hope we can work together to help more people.
To everyone who's donated a device and spread the word, and especially to these who've supported with partnership, funds and expertise.
Not in Oxford?
If you're not local, here are other people you could contact if you would like to donate equipment or ask for help.
BBC Give A Laptop
This BBC page has links to lots of groups also collecting donations around the country.
The Restart Project
On a mission to fix our relationship with electronics, this social enterprise maintains a listing of places you can donate.