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'Unwanted' devices wanted to help others in North Yorkshire

A North Yorkshire County Council project to get more residents online is appealing for more donations of tech that you no longer use.

The Reboot initiative has proved so popular it has a waiting list. It was set up last year to help those left isolated by the Covid-19 pandemic get online to stay in contact with others during lockdowns.

It is hoped residents who receive new devices at Christmas may want to donate their old models to help others.

The council's stronger communities team worked with partners including schools, libraries, businesses, charities and volunteers to bring the Reboot idea to life. It proved so successful it has remained in place, with the opportunity for individuals or organisations to donate laptops, tablets and other devices they no longer need.

They are renovated and distributed among people who have not had, but would benefit from, online communication.

Hundreds of devices have gone to school pupils learning at home and many more have been distributed among the socially isolated.

But there are now people waiting for suitable devices to become available and there is an expectation demand may grow further.

North Yorkshire County Council and Skipton Building Society are both supporting the drive to find more devices, with the local authority donating 50 which became surplus to requirement. In November, 35 were prepared for re-use through Reboot North Yorkshire.

Christmas is an ideal time for those who acquire new devices as gifts to ensure their existing models remain in productive use by donating them to the Reboot scheme.

The county council's executive member for corporate services, Cllr David Chance, said: “Reboot North Yorkshire was a great success when it was introduced and was well supported by both individuals and larger organisations.

“That success has been down to the generosity of those who have made donations and as it is clear there is still a demand to be met, we are making a fresh appeal for help.

“We have been able to identify 50 suitable devices and I am very pleased they will be put to good use to help the community. It is gratifying to see a large organisation like Skipton Building Society also stepping in, as their support makes a real difference.

“If people have upgraded their computer equipment, they can help others by donating the devices they no longer need.”

Stacey Dickens, head of sustainability at Skipton Building Society, said: “We’ve been helping generations of people in Skipton and the surrounding area for almost 170 years.

“We were approached by North Yorkshire County Council to donate any equipment we have but no longer need, and we really wanted to be involved and give back to the community by donating almost 100 pieces of equipment.

“It’s great that not only can we recycle what we no longer use but that it can help others.”

It is requested that items being donated are no more than five years old and that they are restored to factory settings before being handed over, which removes personal information.

More details can be obtained via the Reboot website and devices can be dropped off at libraries which are participating in the scheme.

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