York’s IT ReUse team featured on BBC Radio York on Wednesday afternoon. Project Manager, Tom Mears, joined Joanita Musisi to talk about the project and the importance of alleviating digital poverty in York.
In July 2020, the IT ReUse scheme was formed to tackle digital exclusion and bridge the digital divide in the city. The City of York Council, The Community Furniture Store, Changing Lives and Age UK York formed a partnership to provide access to free computers and tablets to those most in need.
Almost 9% of people – over 15,000 people, living in York don’t have digital access. That means that some people cannot access education resources, online banking, benefits or take part in social activities – things that most people take for granted. COVID-19 restrictions have rapidly increased people’s need for the internet and online services.
In October 2020, the partners involved received a grant from The Two Ridings Community Foundations to provide access to refurbished IT equipment donated by businesses and the general public. Over the past 18 months, we have given out 170 tablets, laptops and phones:
“We have been able to help older people; people with mental health issues; people who are going through counselling, people with drug & alcohol addictions, people going through group therapy; young people who are in care – so that they can stay in touch with family members and friends; refugees learning English as a foreign language, but also helping people to re-train”.
Project Manager, Tom Mears
Please continue to donate your devices. Our goal is to help eliminate digital exclusion – not just during the pandemic – but for good. Bridging the digital divide, one device at a time.