Coventry City Council has once again made a number of recycled laptops available for distribution to community groups and voluntary sector organisations across the city.
The popular scheme aims to support the voluntary sector to increase access to digital technologies and will also help the sector to become stronger, improve services and introduce new services for the residents of Coventry.
Cllr John Mutton, Cabinet Member for Strategic Finance and Resources, said that ensuring recycled laptops are reused by community groups makes sense. He added: “It worked really well last year, and the fact the donations are making a difference is excellent news.”
Last year’s scheme saw 194 laptops given to voluntary and community groups across the city, with a number of projects reapplying after the scope of their services grew following the initial donations of technology.
The Willenhall History group was just one of the community groups to benefit after they successfully applied for a laptop. The group, which meets every Tuesday, has since been able to scan a wealth of local memorabilia to help preserve the area’s history and heritage.
Laptops were also awarded to the Sahara Coventry who work with Asian elders to help improve their health and well-being. They’ve been using the laptops to deliver weekly digital lessons which are helping people overcome their fears of the online world and helping them to keep in touch with family members overseas.
There is an increasing need for the public to access services through means of digital technology. This includes accessing online data, paying for services online, giving feedback via digital platforms and interacting with social media.
Local community groups and organisations are being encouraged to apply for the laptops by demonstrating how the laptops will be used for the benefit of the public or how this will enable the group or organisation to develop.
Cllr Ed Ruane, who has responsibility for Housing and Communities, said that feedback from local community groups was encouraging. He added: ”Providing laptops is a very practical solution for a sector that struggles to manage very limited resources. We need to look at other ways to help voluntary groups to flourish.”
The application process is opens until 30 November 2018. All decisions will be made by a panel that represents Elected Members, the Voluntary Sector and Council Officers. To apply for the scheme visit http://www.coventry.gov.uk/laptopgiveaway