Salford Council donates phased out laptops to families in need.

By Karen Snape, Digital Inclusion Manager, Salford City Council. October 2023

Salford City Council’s Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) team is donating refurbished laptops to help Salford residents get online. The DDaT team is working with the Digital Inclusion team and has donated 200 laptops with plans to donate another 200 in the coming months.

Tackling inequalities is one of Salford Council’s key priorities. And through the ‘Digital Everyone’ initiative, it’s working to tackle digital poverty and make Salford a digitally inclusive city. The Digital Inclusion team is leading this work and is working with staff in front line services to identify residents who don’t have access to a digital device. The first cohort to receive these laptops were Salford’s looked after children living in residential children’s homes. The long-term aim is to support a wide range of residents with these refurbished laptops.

As a team that is at the forefront of digital innovation, the DDaT team understands how access to digital technology can transform lives. So it was no surprise that the idea of donating old devices was an inspired and innovative solution. Previously, the old devices were disposed via an industry recycling scheme. The new approach not only benefits residents but also saves costs.

To support the donation of laptops, 12 members of staff including the Service Director from the DDaT team volunteered their own time to clean, data wipe, test and rebuild the laptops over two weekends. These laptops will help residents develop digital skills so they can learn online, apply for jobs, get information, and stay connected with family and friends.

In a world that is increasingly becoming digital and moving online, the Council has been working since 2017 to support residents get online. This support can be providing devices, connectivity, or skills training. It works with the Digital Providers Network made up of the council and 82community, third sector, private and partner organisations, who provide a wide range of support to residents in all parts of Salford.

Being online is as essential as being able to read and write these days. Through the Digital Everyone initiative, Salford Council is also encouraging organisations in Salford to join them in the journey to make Salford a digitally inclusive city.

Hearing from residents how this work has made a difference in their lives makes all effort worth it. Below are some of these comments:

"I love that the home now has loads of laptops that we can share. I’ve been told that the people in IT have stayed behind and done loads of work so that we can have these and I’m dead grateful for that because that not something they had to do. Thanks so much – I think I’ll watch YouTube and Netflix on mine...okay and do some homework! LOL. Thank you!”

Young person A

"We would like to say a big thank you for using your time to sort out laptops for our young people, these will be a massive help for young people to complete homework or use to watch films or do research or general browsing. This will ensure they have every opportunity that their friends have and will not feel left out, so a massive thank you from all us. "

Northfield Children’s Home

"Please can you thank everyone at the IT department for organising laptops for all of our young people at Newcroft Children’s home to use. Our young people will now be able to actively look for jobs online, complete any work or revision for their courses/exams and may also even use them when shopping, allowing them to develop their independence skills. I’ve no doubt that the laptops will be put to good use and they are very much appreciated. 😊"

Newcroft Children’s Home

Visit for information about digital help and support available in Salford.

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