Digital Inclusion Scheme a success!

Two women standing in a classroom holding computer monitors that have been donated through the digital inclusion scheme.

Bristol Waste gets awards recognition for helping to close the digital divide in Bristol

We are pleased to announce the Digital Inclusion Scheme has been recognised for an award!

The Digital Inclusion Scheme is a Bristol City Council backed project that helps to close Bristol’s digital divide and reduce waste in the city. Already, more than 1,500 laptops have been distributed through the Digital Inclusion Scheme to schools, community groups and families. The scheme has now been selected as a finalist in the 2022 PCR Awards in the Community Focus category.

A women and a man standing with a donated keyboard and monitor

Making a difference to schools and community groups

One school that received free computers through the scheme told us the donation will replace decades-old equipment. The Head of Year 11 at the school said:

“The PCs from Bristol Waste will replace equipment that is nearly 20 years old, allowing the Year 11 students to complete homework and project work through the day and after school hours. Many of the students do not have computers at home so this will be a great addition to the Year 11 Block.”

The computer equipment was donated to the scheme by University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust. We refurbished, repaired and PAT-tested the equipment in line with GDPR and ISO accreditations before delivering it to the school.

Another local organisation to benefit from the scheme was a Hartcliffe-based youth club.  They told us that many of their young people have no access to computers at home. Thanks to the scheme, the organisation was able to create a space for group work and a homework club.

Two women standing in a classroom holding computer monitors that have been donated through the digital inclusion scheme.

In 2020, we loaned several devices to the North Somerset ‘Get Connected’ program which was struggling to purchase laptops during lockdown. The program made laptops available to residents at risk of digital exclusion, along with ongoing support to help them develop digital skills.

One resident said:

“Thanks to the laptop, I’ve got a job! I’m working as a delivery driver. I’ve even learnt how to do online shopping! Thank you so much.”

How the Digital Inclusion Scheme works

Developed in partnership with Bristol City Council, the Digital Inclusion Scheme collects unwanted IT equipment from businesses and the Reuse and Recycling Centres and redistributes them to at-need communities in the city. This helps reduce digital poverty and removes barriers to education, training, employment or staying connected with friends and family. 

Donated IT equipment is fixed, PAT-tested and given a new life in a family, school or community group. We also include a fully accredited (ISO 27001 and BS EN 15713) data destruction service for free, with a focus on security and protecting the environment. 

A man and a woman standing in a classroom and holding computer monitors that have been donated through the Digital Inclusion Scheme

The Digital Inclusion Scheme supports the Bristol community who are without digital devices, internet access or basic IT skills. To help the new owners get the most from their devices, three months of tech support and 12 months warranty is provided with each device.

IT equipment that we collect that can’t be donated through the Digital Inclusion Scheme is either sold in one of our three Reuse Shops at low prices or recycled. The money raised in IT Reuse sales funds the scheme and other waste initiatives that benefit the city.

The scheme has been a huge success so far. We’re now developing a similar project to support refugees from Ukraine and Afghanistan who have relocated to Bristol.  

Two women and two children holding a laptop and keyboard in front of a youth club.

Are you an organisation with tech to spare?

Donate your old IT equipment to the Digital Inclusion Scheme to help schools, community groups and families in Bristol.

Find out how the scheme works, and to tell us about the equipment you want to donate or recycle.

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