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ReBOOT and Forres Area Community Trust distributing free laptops, personal computers, mobile phones and tablets

By Garry McCartney

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Janice Cooper and Euan Kershaw (middle) of FACT are joined by Lee McGrath from ReBoot (right)at Forres Town Hall’s North Room.
Janice Cooper and Euan Kershaw (middle) of FACT are joined by Lee McGrath from ReBoot (right)at Forres Town Hall’s North Room.

A developmental trust is teaming up with another Forres-based social enterprise to give away free electronic devices to people in need.

Forres Area Community Trust (FACT) and ReBOOT are running the ‘Supportive Solutions’ scheme, which sees donated laptops, personal computers, mobile phones and tablets refurbished and re-distributed.

FACT’s Janice Cooper confirmed the group is co-ordinating the donations which can be dropped off at Forres Town Hall’s North Room on Tuesday’s from 4pm-6pm, or on Friday’s from 10am-12.30pm. FACT can also collect them if necessary.

Janice said: “We will be re-distributing the devices to those who need but can’t afford to buy them. Forres Online will also provide support in their use if needed. The refurbished devices will come through referral from agencies such as the Job Centre, Council and NHS. Once someone has been referred, FACT will get in touch to discuss requirements and possible support.”

ReBOOT has been offering free donations to other charities/social enterprises, as well as those unable to afford hardware, for a number of years.

They read about the Digital Participation Charter Fund, which supports pre-existing digital re-use/recycling organisations to offer more donations of devices to those most in need.

REBOOT’s manager Lee McGrath approached potential collaborators including FACT and the Libertie Project social enterprise in Inverness who experienced the distribution of new devices over the last 18 months. They agreed to work in partnership with ReBOOT to offer the service.

Re-usable devices will be prepared for distribution - all others will be recycled.

FACT, Libertie Project and ReBOOT are in touch with public and third sector organisations including Moray Council, the Department for Work and Pensions, and the NHS who each offer a referral process for people in need.

Lee said: “A lot of this will depend on the kindness of the public and businesses in the north offering up redundant devices.

“We aim to distribute 150 plus devices by next March so there’s lots of time for people to get in touch if they have hardware kicking around they’d like to donate.”

He added: “With the global events of the last 18 months pushing people to use digital devices more for work, shopping and staying in touch, distribution is more important than ever.

“We also hope to raise the profile of re-use and recycling; with COP26 being hosted in Scotland this year, climate change and other concerns about our planet need to be addressed.”

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