FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 30 Nov 2020
Community interest company aims to end digital poverty in the UK by 2030
The community interest company is on a mission to help bring about a digitally included society, and their campaign is working diligently to make this a reality.
Their mission consists of three main goals:
- to eradicate digital poverty in the UK by the year 2030;
- to reduce the amount of no longer needed yet usable technology being scraped by organisations; and
- to revise procurement policies in the UK relating to old technology.
According to the team at SocialBox.Biz, “The pandemic and lockdowns have underlined how important technology is to stay connected. We must ensure that vulnerable groups such as the elderly, homeless, and refugees are able to steadily access technology to speak to loved ones, order food and medication online, and continue their education.”
Laszlo Balla at C4WS homeless project, a SocialBox.Biz partner, said, “COVID-19 has made it very difficult for many charities to maintain the provision of their services, which at times are essential for their users. Without IT devices, people couldn’t take part in crucial services. Lockdown also impacts people with mental health issues.”
These goals are part of SocialBox.Biz’s digital inclusion manifesto, which outlines a series of steps needed to make their mission a reality. The company is working to bring new partners on board to help connect those in need with laptops and make digital inclusion a reality.
Helping organisations meet sustainability goals, SocialBox.Biz is calling for reduction in old but still usable technology going for scrap and export that adds to our carbon footprint. “The vast majority of old technology can be sustainably reused and placed in the hands of those in need, which in turn will help the UK meet its sustainability goals,” said the team at SocialBox.Biz.
SocialBox.Biz has been providing a solution for many years and has produce a number of awareness guides and videos emphasizing their secure data removal and open source innovation, that means even older hardware can still be useful to those those in need:
Their campaign is also calling on various groups to introduce guidelines, as well as for the government to introduce legislation to first consider whether old technology from organisations could be donated towards digital exclusion initiatives.
SocialBox.Biz has already worked with numerous organisations over the past years to procure unneeded but still useful technology for reuse and donation that would otherwise be recycled or thrown away. Then, the laptops and tablets are given to local charity partners with open source software to be distributed to those in need.
The team at Age UK Wandsworth, a SocialBox.Biz partner, said, “We are so grateful to SocialBox.Biz for the devices that we have received. Digital exclusion is a known issue in the older generation, but this has been exacerbated by COVID-19 when access to public computers has been limited and when so many services and activities have moved online. We have been able to deploy these devices in areas of the borough where older people may not have the means to buy their own equipment and have offered support from our team of ‘Digipals’.”
A large number of charities and other stakeholders have joined in this campaign.
SocialBox.Biz continues to forge ahead in breaking down barriers between those in need and digital means. More information can be found at https://www.socialbox.biz/.
SocialBox.Biz is a community interest company (CIC) improving the local community by providing innovative tech solutions.
Recent press releases:
UK Politicians Across Parties Working Together to Fight Social Exclusion with Re-used Tech
SocialBox.Biz Empowering Local Organisations to Reach Scope 3 Emissions and Digital Exclusion Goals
Former child refugee helps connect digitally excluded elderly, refugees and homeless in Lockdown through free laptops initiative
Mayor of London pledges hundreds of laptops and computers to help vulnerable stay connected in winter lockdown