The pandemic has highlighted that lack of online access is a serious issue that limits people’s life chances and wellbeing. Getting Oxfordshire Online will refurbish devices donated by the public and local businesses for school children, isolated older people and others in need.
While many of us have spent our locked-down lives on video calls and moved all our shopping online for our convenience, COVID-19 has shed a new light on people who are digitally excluded. Without appropriate devices, adequate data and connectivity, or the digital skills needed to get online, it is estimated that up to 40,000 people in Oxfordshire continue to be isolated even as lockdown measures ease.
As part of its pilot, Getting Oxfordshire Online is inviting donations of unwanted laptops, tablets and phones for refurbishment at newly created hubs in Oxford and Didcot. Community partners will then work to help give users access to the best deals on data, and deliver the skills training needed to make the best and safest use of the devices.
Adrian Sell, CEO at Oxfordshire Community Foundation, says: “Being online is no longer a ‘nice to have’, it is a need. Applying for a job, for benefits, accessing healthcare and many other important parts of life are increasingly being done online – and this change has been accelerated by the pandemic. COVID-19 also provides the opportunity to raise awareness and harness the goodwill of the public, who have already shown a huge willingness to help.”
How can I help?
You can help by giving us the laptops you no longer need. Hubs at Aspire in Oxford and SOFEA in Didcot are now accepting donations of laptops from businesses and individuals. The laptops will be securely wiped to remove all data from them; they will then be reconfigured before being passed on to those who need them.
Before donating, please take a look at our guide on what kind of laptops we can accept. If for any reason we are unable to use a laptop after you have donated it, it will be recycled. Some devices may be sold to partially fund the refurbishment work.
You can arrange to make your laptop donation with one of the following hubs. You can also contact them directly to find out more about the processes they use to securely wipe and refurbish devices, or check if your laptop is suitable. Please include photos of the devices if possible.
Aspire – Oxford
St Thomas’ School, Osney Lane, Oxford, OX1 1NJ
Aspire is based in Central Oxford, near the railway station. Turn off Oxpens Road into St Thomas’ Street and then take the first right onto Woodbine Place. Drive to the end of the street and you will see an old school behind black railings – this is our office. Please ring the doorbell at the front of the building on arrival.
SOFEA – Didcot
Unit 1E Trident Park, Basil Hill Road, Didcot OX11 7HJ
SOFEA is based in Didcot, one mile from the Didcot train station. Coming from the direction of the A34, at the first roundabout turn left, then straight on at the second roundabout. Trident Park is the signposted on the right-hand side, follow the road round passing Screw Fix on your right, continue until you reach a T-junction. You’ll find the door to the SOFEA reception on the right-hand side.