Leeds Tech Angels to Help Bridge Digital Divide
Calls for businesses and other employers in Leeds to donate unused laptops to young people in a bid to bridge Covid digital divide.
07:46 15 December 2020
A campaign that aims to bridge the Covid digital divide has been launched in Leeds. Businesses and other employers are encouraged to donate unused laptops and tech to young people who currently do not have access to technology at home.
The campaign, which is being led by Digital Access West Yorkshire, is funded by the Leeds Community Foundation and supported by the Ahead Partnership, Leeds City Council and Zero Waste Leeds.
Ben McKenna, Chief Executive of social enterprise Solidaritech and a founder of Digital Access West Yorkshire, said: “There are far too many digitally-excluded children and young people in Leeds, and we want to work with businesses and other organisations to help them.
“Laptops are at the top of our wanted list, but tablets and smart phones would also be useful.
“Unused machines can be deposited at several secure locations around the city or we can collect them. Each item will be fully wiped and reset to its original factory settings by an IT specialist. No personal data will remain on any devices distributed to recipients.
“2020 been difficult for all young people but particularly those without access to technology in their homes. Sadly, the likelihood of future periods out of school is high.
“I urge businesses with unused or wanted hardware to answer the call to become proud Leeds Tech Angels. Donations of personal equipment are also welcome”
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Executive Member for Learning, Skills and Employment at Leeds City Council, said: “We have been working hard for many months to distribute digital devices to children and families in Leeds.
“This has included close cooperation with headteachers to maximise effective targeting of need.
“Leeds Tech Angels provides an ideal vehicle to help to achieve this and I urge employers and individuals to come forward with their donation of IT equipment.
“Leeds City Council is pleased to offer our support.”