Birmingham offers free digital devices to community groups

Community organisations in Birmingham could benefit from free, refurbished digital devices handed out by the council as part of a device bank scheme. 

Following an initial pilot which benefited 85 charities across the city, the council is now taking applications for the thousands of devices it is currently decommissioning and refurbishing to benefit good causes in the area.

person using black laptop computer

Cllr Jayne Francis, Cabinet Member for Digital, Culture, Heritage and Tourism, said: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for charities and community groups who are helping local people without digital access. With too many families already struggling to heat their homes and put food on the table, digital access can be completely out of reach even though it is so important. 

‘With this support, these organisations can help citizens build digital skills and confidence and assist them in applying for jobs and benefits they are entitled to.’ 

Devices will include laptops and desktops with monitors, keyboards and mice with applications open to charities and community groups from across the city. 

Digital inclusion is one of the pillars behind the council’s Smart City Roadmap which sets out a range of major projects lead by Digital Birmingham including a programme of ultrafast connectivity through open access broadband and free Wi-Fi in the city centre and the Birmingham Data Factory which provides open data to ‘deliver economic/social value.’ 

The council’s Digital Strategy, set out to 2025, will also seek to improve digital access in the region by improving online services, giving council teams the right digital tools and improving digital infrastructure with the aim of using the ‘best of data, digital and technology.’ 

Other projects by the council to aid residents in digital access include the ‘Summer of Skills’ scheme which supported 128 locals with digital skills queries through a group of volunteers from Barclays, Experian and AbilityNet. The programme also distributed 75 laptops to those in need and 28 sim cards from the National Databank providing free data from the Good Things Foundation. 

A similar free data scheme through the databank was expanded in Coventry earlier this year. 

You can apply for the Birmingham device bank scheme here.

Photo by freestocks


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