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Tech giant donates laptops to local charity to help digitally excluded

To combat digital exclusion, 120 laptops have been donated by tech giant Huawei to support residents in Tameside and Glossop. 

Glossop-based charity PCrefurb and Tameside Council have been working to reduce the digital divide in Tameside and support residents to gain access to devices.

The laptops were presented at a special event held at Dukinfield Town Hall on 30 July.

The laptops donated by Huawei will help people referred to PCrefurb either directly or through their Digital Wellbeing Project.

The organisation helps people who want to improve their digital skills as well as those who do not have the means to acquire their own devices, giving them access to online services that many people take for granted. Some of the laptops will be loaned out through their lending library.

This donation follows Huawei’s contribution of 250 pupil packs via the Greater Manchester Tech Fund to five schools across Greater Manchester – including Longdendale High School in Hollingworth - in February at the height of the national home-schooling crisis.

PCrefurb is also re-donating some laptops to charities and groups that they support in Greater Manchester including Home-Start HOST, White Bridge College Pupil Referral Unit and Marinel Foundation.

Cllr Ed Kelly, Chair of Trustees at PCrefurb, said: “Gaining access to the digital world is a life changing experience for the vulnerable people we engage with, enabling them to access the benefits of online services, support and information. This donation of 120 laptops by Huawei will help significantly in our aim to ‘bridge the digital divide’ and we hope that other companies will follow their lead.”

Victor Zhang, Vice President at Huawei, added: “As society begins to return to some form of normality following the pandemic, the challenges of a lack of access to technology or connectivity that many have faced, must not be forgotten. Digital exclusion will not go away because we are starting to return to the office, or because children are back in school. The most vulnerable in society are at real risk of being left behind.

“We want to help connect communities across the country and ensure people of all ages and backgrounds can fully experience and take part in the digital world. We are committed to working with our partners to close the gap and ensuring no-one is left behind’.

Cllr Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council executive member for Lifelong Learning, commented: “This is such a fantastic initiative that I’m really happy we’re part of in Tameside. Through these donated laptops the residents will have a fantastic opportunity to develop a new set of digital skills and special training is available through PCrefurb for anyone who needs it.”

Cllr Janet Cooper, Tameside’s Civic Mayor, said: “I’m delighted this scheme will help some of our residents get access to digital technology. Thanks to Huawei for this incredible donation of laptops and PCrefurb for their support which will help us bridge the digital exclusion gap across our borough.”

If anyone has any laptops or devices they would like to donate, visit www.PCrefurb.org.uk.

Images by Nigel Wood

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