During ALL DIGITAL Weeks we are spotlighting the work of some of our DigiKnow partners. In 2021 Community Computers, a Stockport charity, joined the DigiKnow Alliance to set up a device recycling scheme to refurbish donated devices for people on low incomes and repair DigiKnow Device Lending Library devices. To make it as easy as possible for residents and businesses to donate, we offered Stockport Libraries as collection points for donations, a first for local authority recycling collaborations. Other GM authorities have now adopted this scheme. Chris Bennett is Project Manager.
2022 Impact Report
Community Computers is celebrating its second year in reusing technology to tackle digital exclusion and we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that has entrusted us with their devices in the last year. We are pleased to announce that in the last 12 months alone, we have managed to process an amazing 2,343 devices!
A whopping 471 devices have gone directly to those on a low-income or community projects that benefit local communities, making affordable technology available to some of the most disadvantaged areas.
We recycle devices that are not reusable, taking our time to separate all recyclable materials and ensure that nothing goes to landfill, so doing our part for a more sustainable future.
We have recycled 1,212 devices and repaired and refurbished 1,131 devices, prevented 11,469kg of e-waste from entering landfill and achieved 437,901kg in carbon saving.
And we’ve directly supported 466 families and individuals in Stockport and Manchester households with low-cost tech to help them get online. One resident who has benefitted from a refurbished device said:
It’s incredibly helpful …It’s enabled me to complete an online course that otherwise I would have struggled to do. It will enable my older school child to get any computer or online schoolwork done. When I try to return to work later this year, when my youngest starts school, it will be a big help then, as for health reasons, I may end up needing to work from home or be computer/internet based which would not be possible without this laptop. It’s a big weight off my shoulders.
You can download the Community Computers 2022 Impact Report to read more.
About Community Computers
Our Community Computers project is run by the charity Renewal North West. It exists to tackle digital exclusion, unemployment and e-waste through repairing and refurbishing donated tech. Operated by a small team and supported by a volunteer group, we recycle and re-use donated IT equipment, which allows us to:
- provide fully refurbished and licensed devices into the community at low cost to tackle digital exclusion
- provide IT work skills, training, and employment to those on the project, particularly the long-term unemployed, to support them back to work
- reduce the amount of e-waste going to landfill and ensure all hazardous materials are disposed of properly
Tackling Digital Exclusion
Being online and having the essential digital skills for everyday life and work is increasingly important, but around 1 in 5 people in Stockport still have no or little access to the internet, and the need for low-cost and accessible, quality digital devices is greatest amongst those with limited financial means. Delivering a sustainable and reliable stream of equipment for residents to access allows households to access these services from their homes and tackle the digital divide.
54% of individuals accessing low-cost devices who completed the Community Computers survey said they will use their device to access government support
53% of individuals accessing low-cost devices who completed the Community Computers survey said they will use their device for school, college, or university
Our desktop stopped working and we needed a PC for the children to access their homework. All the contact from the schools is done online. Some homework could be done on a mobile phone, but most needed to be done on a tablet or PC
I needed it to do my IT course and to help me get back to work with applying for jobs.
We’re passionate about tackling digital exclusion, and where applicable, we upgrade the operating systems to a genuine version of Windows, install free anti-virus software and ensure devices are ready for use with email and browser software.
Member of DigiKnow
As a DigiKnow partner, we have been helping to tackle digital exclusion by working in partnership with Stockport Council, Starting Point Community Learning Partnership and Stockport libraries, who accept tech donations from the community across the borough.
Our team continues to maintain the DigiKnow Device Library at Starting Point, which loans devices for free to Stockport residents who cannot get online. We work closely with them and our other DigiKnow partners to signpost customers to local services that can further support digital skills and their online journey.
If you know someone who would benefit from a low-cost refurbished device to get online, call us on 0161 476 2777 or visit our shop at Renewal North West, 61-63 Shaw Heath, Stockport SK3 8BH.
How you can help both the community and the environment
We are incredibly grateful for the device donations we receive and urge you to continue to drop off the tech you don’t use at your local Stockport library or contact us by phone on 0161 476 2777 or email to arrange a direct collection. We provide a professional service with secure transportation and secure data destruction. We can collect the following:
- Desktop Computers
- Smart Phones
- Working TFT Monitors
- Networking Peripherals (such as switches, patch panels, cabinets, and power supplies)
Data security is a high priority. Devices are securely wiped or physically destroyed, with certificates of destruction provided before the refurbishment process. Community Computers are registered and regulated by the Environment Agency for the processing of electrical, electronic and IT waste. Hazardous materials are disposed of in accordance with WEEE regulations.
We are proud that the project and our team continue to make a real difference within our community. Donating your unwanted devices helps to make the project sustainable and has provided valuable work and skills opportunities to people that are disadvantaged. We look forward to developing the project and supporting more families in Stockport to get online.
Tea and Tech drop-ins
With decades of experience in repairing lots of different devices, laptops, desktops, tablets, and phones, we are introducing a self-repair community workshop at our Refresh Coffee House every first Tuesday of the month between 2 pm and 4:30 pm.
- Has your device developed a fault?
- Are you struggling with something not working as it should?
- Is your device slow and sluggish?
- Are you thinking of trying to repair it but not sure what you should do or what parts to order?
- Do you just have a simple tech question that you need help with?
Come along with your tech for free professional advice and guidance on self-repair options. We’re here to help you save money and rescue devices when they go wrong. For more information, you can visit our website.