Connecting the unconnected

Fri 24 July 2020, 6:07 pm

Enfield's schools and businesses are being asked to donate old tech equipment to SocialBox.Biz, which will make them available for the most isolated members of society.

SocialBox.Biz collects equipment and sanitises and data wipes them before installing software and distributing devices to vulnerable adults and older people, who may be isolating due to COVID-19 but still need access to vital information online.

The initiative aims to help people who cannot connect cheaply with friends and family or access services or social platforms. Many of those who have never used a computer are from low income households and perhaps have few relationships within their local community.

The company has partnered with Age UK Enfield, where it has recently made its first delivery of laptops. Hundreds of laptops have already been given via its partnership with AgeUK London and other partners.

Age UK Enfield has worked closely with Enfield Council and the Enfield Stands Together campaign since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, helping to make contact with elder members of the community who may be cut off.

Enfield Council’s leader, cllr Nesil Caliskan, said: "For many, the internet has opened a new world to those who would otherwise be cut off. However, while our older residents might have the know-how, they may not have the means to get online. I am happy to say that Enfield Council fully supports the work of SocialBox.Biz as it will help to reduce digital exclusion for local, vulnerable people, help to keep people in contact with their families and provide support."

In addition, the scheme helps to keep old tech away from scrapheaps and landfill, contributing positively to the "circular economy" which reduces waste and continues the life-span of resources. 

SocialBox.Biz founder, Peter Paduh, said: "Laptops for homeless and vulnerable from SocialBox.Biz help to empower disadvantaged people and to promote the principle of self-determination via access to the internet. People are able to socialize online with their community, friends and family and order basic life necessities such as groceries. For some people who are already isolated, like the elderly, this is the only contact they may have with the outside world."

International workspace provider Regus has teamed up with the social enterprise firm SocialBox.Biz to set up donation points in Enfield. It has two locations in the borough - in Southgate and Enfield Lock. You can check the full list of Regus donation points in London here. Please contact SocialBox.Biz to organise a collection from your office or school and for more information.

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