Peasholme Charity are working alongside the City of York Council and partners (Community Furniture Store, Changing Lives, Age UK York and others) to tackle digital poverty in York. We are asking local people to donate unused – but still working – laptops, tablets and computers (with chargers) to fix the digital divide.

The ‘Digital Divide’ is the gap between people that have access to the internet and reliable devices and people that don’t.

Covid-19 has led to a rapid shift in services moving online; ordering food shopping, home learning, paying bills, working from home or searching for new work/training – even accessing pandemic related news and guidance.

Making an application for welfare benefits and accessing a Universal Credit journal can only be done online – yet 15% of people that live in York don’t have a smartphone, 20% don’t have a laptop and 9% don’t have internet access.

Peasholme Charity support many people that depend on computers at local libraries to access their Universal Credit journal or for free Wi-Fi where they have a device but cannot afford to top-up credit. Whilst these public spaces remain closed, people are left digitally excluded.

Housing Link Worker, Ian, recently sourced a laptop from the Community Furniture Store as part of the IT Reuse scheme – for a person he is supporting with debt and social isolation.

The device will provide the opportunity for the client to join online self-help groups for mental health and wellbeing as well as the chance to reconnect with long-lost family and friends which will reduce social isolation. It will also allow the person to manage debt independently, giving them access to online bank and utility accounts.

During lockdown 1:0 Financial Coach, Alison, sourced a smartphone – through a different scheme – for a client whose phone was broken. Without a device, and unable to meet face to face, this person would have been left vulnerable and unable to access the financial support and budgeting advice they urgently needed.

Peasholme Charity has also used funding from the Two Ridings Community Foundation and Tesco Bags of Help scheme – to top up mobile phones during all three lockdowns – to keep people connected, reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation and ensure vulnerable people are not left digitally excluded.

You can help fix the digital divide in York by donating devices to the following places:

Community Furniture Store

Unit 29, The Raylor Centre, James Street, York, YO10 3DW
Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri – 9am – 4pm

Haxby Memorial Hall Office

16 The Village, Haxby, York, YO32 3HT
Mon – Fri – 9am – 4pm

Clements Hall

Nunthorpe Road, York, YO23 1BW
Mon – Fri – 9am – 4pm

Foxwood Community Centre

Cranfield Place, York, YO24 3HY
Wed – 1pm – 2.30pm, Fri – 9.30am – 11am

Devices will be fully wiped (certificate provided) and all data removed before being setup for the needs of the new user.

Visit Community Furniture Store or call 01904 426444 for more information. #Let’sGetYorkConnected.