SocialBox.Biz, a London-based community interest company and technology venture that hosts the ‘laptops for the homeless and elderly initiative,’ announced they have teamed up with local British politicians and business leaders to bridge the digital divide during Covid-19. House of Lords and Local Elected Members across parties signed a letter to help to extend their initiative that places working reused laptops with open source software into the hands of those in accommodation services. SocialBox.Biz is highlighting the importance of digital inclusion now more than ever.
These days, anyone without digital access is a second-class citizen. And for Britain's most deprived people this lack of access is another barrier to their getting back on their feet. And yet all over the UK there are thousands of computers that have been replaced by newer models, just sitting in storerooms. Although they are not the most up to date, these machines can be reused to change people's lives. That is why local and national politicians are working together to ask large organisations to release their old computers for purposeful reuse.
One of the signatories is Lord Chris Fox, Business and Industrial Strategy spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats. He commented: "This is a win - win for organisations. It helps them to meet their sustainability goals and it help change people's lives for the better. That is why politicians of different parties are working together with other leaders to fight social exclusion through re-used tech. "
Cllr Paul Swaddle, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Community Services and Digital, said:
“Lockdown has only emphasised the importance of technology and demonstrated how it can truly offer a lifeline for the most vulnerable people in our society.
"This initiative from SocialBox.Biz will provide more people with digital access than ever before - all in an environmentally friendly way, by reusing old equipment.
For older people, having access to a tablet or a laptop will help combat loneliness and isolation, a concern which is particularly pressing during the pandemic.
"The scheme will also allow many unemployed people to re-train and learn new skills - helping people to apply for and secure new jobs."
Another signatory, London Borough of Brent Liberal Democrat Councillor Anton Georgiou said: "Everyone deserves access to the tools to enable them to achieve their full potential. The work being done by SocialBox.Biz, is leading the way with initiatives like Laptops for the Homeless and Vulnerable."
Councillor David van der Burg, a Green Party Councillor from St. Helens said: "Digital inclusion is incredibly important, and by reusing equipment you are helping to reduce waste and other environmental impacts."
Cllr Dinah Barry, Enfield Community First Group Leader said: "The work Socialbox.biz does benefits everyone: those who donate know they have putsomething they no longer need to good use, those who do the upgrades learn and develop valuable skills and of course those who receive the laptops and tablets are once more able to see and speak to their loved ones, ending the misery of loneliness and isolation. Finally we all benefit – less damage is done to our environment because fewer resources are taken from the planet. As one of my residents wrote: “I was particularly pleased to know that reconditioned laptops are going to be available to those in need. So many of my older friends have never joined the computer and internet generation. Now is definitely the time to learn new skills. They are at an extreme disadvantage otherwise.”
SocialBox.Biz is working to hit additional 1000s of laptops handover milestones in the coming years and provide access to skills. Several other causes are reaching out to SocialBox.Biz daily to enquire about available laptops for their clients in need of digital inclusion in isolation. Laptops for the Homeless and Vulnerable Initiative needs your support, now more than ever. Please contact SocialBox.Biz today!
Notes to editors
SocialBox.Biz is a community interest company (CIC) improving the local community by providing innovative tech solutions. For many years, SociaBox.Biz has been helping those who can not afford any kind of computer. This phenomenon has become known as Digital Inclusion.