A fact finding mission via Twitter and various Housing Association websites in my I first started my role as Digital Inclusion project officer in July 2014, pointed me in the direction of the Get Online @ Home initiative, of which Computer Recyclers UK are a partner organisation. I stumbled across a really interesting news item on Charter Housing Trust’s website that sparked lots of questions in my mind. Charter Housing were piloting a scheme to give away free PC’s and laptops to their tenants via Computer Recyclers UK. This was something that I wanted to be able to offer at Southway Housing Trust but I had no idea to go about it. I followed this up by contacting Computer Recyclers UK via Twitter and Marcus Griffiths responded. After a lengthy telephone conversation it was apparent that we were going to be able to work together in the future.In the months following our initial conversation Marcus provided invaluable advisory support which lead to us placing our first order. As an organisation we were just starting our Digital Inclusion journey and Marcus provided lots of information and his experience that he had gained through working with other housing associations. Marcus and Computer Recyclers UK have always gone above and beyond, to accommodate requests from the different tenant groups that I come into contact with. So far we’ve placed orders for over 20 laptops and we’ve had no issues with any of the equipment that has been delivered thus far.We’re so happy with the service that we’ve received from Computer Recyclers UK that we’re embarking on a partnership project with them to deliver an organisation wide IT equipment loan scheme in conjunction with a home connectivity pilot starting in September this year.
Digital Inclusion within the UK Housing sector is growing at an alarming rate with more and more Housing Associations putting more emphasis and focusing more of their efforts on on providing ‘Digital for All.’ With this in mind, whenever I am asked to discuss my projects with my peers, Computer Recyclers UK are always at the front of my mind to recommend. I am aware that there are lots of different suppliers out there in the refurbished computer market. However, I feel as though the values that Computer Recyclers UK and the Get Online @ Home initiative hold are closely aligned with Southway’s as an organisation and I look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.
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