A Man Experiencing Homelessness Finds Job and New Hope with SocialBox.Biz Laptop – Social and IT innovation

A SocialBox.Biz case study update 9 May 2023 with additional case studies update 31 July 2023

Sebastian, a man experiencing homelessness since August 2022, has found a job as a kitchen porter and is now looking to the future with the help of a laptop from SocialBox.Biz. Sebastian was able to access online training for his new job with the laptop, and will use it for general laptop use and his onward career.

SocialBox.Biz is a social enterprise that wipes and upgrades old laptops with open source software and redistributes suitable laptops to those in need. The community interest company works with charities and other organisations to provide laptops to those who need them most.

“We are delighted to be able to provide Sebastian with a laptop to help him access online training and to further his career,” said the SocialBox.Biz team. “We are committed to helping those in need and we are proud to be able to support Sebastian in his journey.”

Sebastian is now looking forward to the future with optimism and is grateful for the support he has received from Socialbox.biz.

“It has given Sebastian the opportunity to access online training and to further his career. He is looking forward to the future with hope and optimism.” Commented the team from The Passage.

https://twitter.com/SocialBoxBiz/status/1649678850069020673

The Passage reported on their website that:
”Working together with the social enterprise SocialBox.Biz, the charity has been helping clients to stay motivated since the start of lockdown; providing laptops, mobiles and tablets to those who were identified as otherwise having no access to electronic devices. This initiative has enabled clients to stay connected with their Passage case workers, carry out online training, keep in touch with their previous employers and apply for new job roles. The devices have also helped to prevent social isolation, improved living conditions for clients, and during a period where the entire nation was increasingly reliant on technology, ensured that they were not at risk of being excluded from employment and training opportunities or social activities.”

SocialBox.Biz are a social enterprise who have been supporting The Passage with donations of free laptops since 2016, providing hundreds of laptops to and tablets to The Passage since. The organisation initially joined forces with the charity to combat digital exclusion in the homelessness sector. SocialBox.Biz play a huge role in improving the quality of life of hundreds of our clients, by transforming houses into homes, through the introduction of electronic devices such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones that so many of us take for granted.

Peter Paduh, the founder of SocialBox.Biz said: “The lockdown has really highlighted the inequalities we face as a country. While many of us take for granted the homes in which we live and the technology to keep us connected, many people in society do not have access to such luxuries, including the homeless.

“My first break coming to the UK as a refugee was receiving a free computer, which inspired me to later launch SocialBox.Biz It’s great that I can work with charities like The Passage, but the demand is so high right now, and we need more companies to step up and support these initiatives by providing their old laptops and tablets to SocialBox.Biz on an ongoing basis.

Contact SocialBox.Biz to participate on an ongoing basis.

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SocialBox.Biz Laptops Helping People Experiencing Homelessness Find Work

Additional SocialBox.Biz laptop case studies received from The Passage on 11 May 2023:

Photos of the kit being handed over to the team and a client of The passage Hotel school whose graduates received SocialBox.Biz laptops

Natalie case study

Natalie is an EU national who speaks basic English and has experienced homelessness. However, she is looking for work in hospitality and wants to improve her English. Also, her mobile is broken, therefore, it’s difficult for me as her case worker or employer to contact her via phone or email, also for her to communicate with employers when doing her job search. Natalie enjoys working with computers and has a diploma in Computing, so, this SocialBox.Biz laptop will help her to keep up to date with technology and work in the Computing field in  the future, which is her area of expertise.

Paul case study

Paul came to the UK as an asylum seeker and became homeless when his money ran out, which is how he became involved with the Passage. Paul was referred by the Migrant Development Team to the Employment Team and the Passage have been supporting him in finding volunteering roles. He has since registered with One Westminster at our Employment drop-In, so needs to be able to access links to volunteering roles and access online interviews. Paul worked as a medical doctor in Cameroon and is carrying out research. SocialBox.Biz laptop has been vital to support his research and to support him finding volunteering roles. Paul is motivated to help others and is passionate about his medical research.

The C4WS Homeless Project – Case Study 12 May 2023

The C4WS Homeless Project has been a lifeline for many individuals facing homelessness in the UK. With the support of organizations like SocialBox.Biz, the project has been able to provide its guests with donated Linux laptops when they move from C4WS winter shelter provided by Churches in Central London to permanent accommodation. For one guest in particular, this donation has been life-changing. By using the donated Linux laptop, the guest has been able to improve his Unix and coding skills, and has even started working with internet servers. This newfound skillset has opened up a world of job opportunities for the guest, offering a path towards stability and independence. SocialBox.Biz’s laptop donation program is just one example of how technology can be used to positively impact the lives of those experiencing homelessness. By providing access to tech resources and training, marginalized individuals can gain valuable skills and leverage technology to improve their circumstances. We are heartened to see the power of technology being harnessed for good. By working together, we can help create a more equitable society where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

SocialBox.Biz and Migrant Help Provide Re-used Laptops to Those in Need With The Largest Delivery of Laptops So Far.

London, The UK, 12 May 2023 – SocialBox.Biz, a London-based technology social enterprise, has partnered with Migrant Help – a charity supporting refugees, people seeking asylum and survivors of modern slavery and trafficking – to provide re-used laptops to and Apple MacBook to clients of Migrant Help. No longer needed, yet still usable items have been donated by businesses and individuals, have been upgraded with open source software by SocialBox.Biz’s team and volunteers from IT and CIO departments. The laptops are then distributed to Migrant Help, who give them to the people that they support. ”For victims of trafficking and slavery, moving forward isn’t always as easy as it might sound, and by providing survivors with these devices to access the internet, we are helping them take the right steps for a happy, healthy life. This new partnership will ensure that survivors supported by Migrant Help’s Victim Care team will have increased opportunities to receive a donated laptop from SocialBox.Biz. To help us maximise the number of devices available to families and individuals who are in need, SocialBox.Biz welcomes new partnerships and donations of your unwanted but still useful tech items.” Commented the team at SocialBox.Biz

The laptops are helping people in need to access online resources, such as job search websites, and to stay in touch with family and friends. They are also helping to bridge the digital divide, providing access to technology to those who may not otherwise have access.

“We are delighted to be working with Migrant Help to provide re-used laptops to those in need,” said Peter Paduh, founder of SocialBox.Biz. “We believe that everyone should have access to technology, and this partnership is helping to make that a reality.”

“We are very grateful to SocialBox.Biz for their generous donation of laptops,” said Mandy Lloyd, Head of Income and Partnerships at Migrant Help. “These laptops are making a real difference to the lives of the marginalised people that we support, by giving them the ability to communicate online – something which most of us take for granted nowadays. We are proud to be working with SocialBox.Biz to make this happen.”

A young nurse has been able to obtain recognition for her medical training and find work in the UK, thanks to a reused laptop provided by social enterprise SocialBox.Biz. (25th May 2023 Update )

Migrant Help charity provides free advice and support to migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. One of their clients, a young nurse, was struggling to find work in the UK due to the cost of a laptop and the lack of internet access to be able to find work and prepare all the additional training and paperwork needed.

However, thanks to a laptop provided by SocialBox.Biz, she has been able to obtain the necessary recognition for her medical qualifications and find employment

SocialBox.Biz team said: “We’re delighted to have helped this young nurse obtain the recognition for her medical training. Our mission is to help people get back into employment, education and training, and this is a great example of how our work is making a real difference to people’s lives.”

Another client, who wished to remain anonymous, said that since having the laptop, which has only been a few weeks now, he has really enjoyed having access to if and feeling more connected and able to research and access online learning and construction videos and courses so that as soon when his refugee status is ready, he can work in that industry. This laptop donation will make a huge difference to the lives of the clients, and will help them to access information and education that they otherwise would not have had.

Refugee DJ: ”Again, on behalf of the NI team, my sincere thanks for assisting our young Eritrean Refugee DJ and allowing him to pursue his dreams on the Belfast circuit with SocialBox.Biz Reused Apple MacBook Pro laptop.  We can’t tell you how much this means to us, and indeed him.”  Orla Gardiner​​​​, Regional Manager, Victims of Slavery Support Service at Migrant Help Charity.
SocialBox.Biz Founder and Chairman, Peter Paduh, said: “We are delighted to be able to support this young man in his musical aspirations, and to help him to connect with other young people in Belfast. We hope that this will be the start of a long and successful career in the music industry.”
The laptop was donated through SocialBox.Biz’s corporate social responsibility programme, which encourages businesses to release their no longer needed unwanted but still usable I.T. equipment to Laptops for Homeless, Refugees, and Older People in isolation initiative from SocialBox.Biz Community Interest Company on an ongoing basis.   As donations are made locally that also helps with reducing scope 3 emissions and increasing social impact.

For more information, please contact SocialBox.Biz today.

On 30th May 2023 we received this following update from Migrant Help Charity CEO, after attending their annual event and meeting a number of former refugees sharing their success stories in Britain.

With the topic of immigration seeming to dominate the news and political agendas, we wanted this opportunity to celebrate and share how inspirational and resilient the people who our charity supports are, as they try to rebuild their stolen lives. It was heartening to see that so many of our guests feel the same way.

The evening was full of meeting new acquaintances, reconnecting with old friends and having many positive conversations whilst we all enjoyed the delicious foods from around the world representing countries of our clients, and admired the wonderful views across London.

We are also now delighted to be able to share with you photos from the night…

(SocialBox.Biz founder attended the event )

There is still much to do to ensure those we support are able to recover from their trauma. If you were inspired by what you saw and heard and you want to make a difference and protect people affected by displacement and exploitation, we would love to hear from you.

Thank you once again for taking the time to join us for our Rebuilding Stolen Lives event. I hope we will have the opportunity to meet again.

Best wishes, Caroline O’Connor, CEO, Migrant Help Charity.

The British Red Cross Laptop update 30h May 2023

SocialBox.Biz has been providing laptops to the British Red Cross Young Refugee Service and Hackney destitution centre for a number of years. We learned how the two most recent batches of laptops we provided helped, the first one to YRS and second one to the destitution centre.

The laptops have been a great help to the refugees, who are often struggling to access the internet and other resources that can help them with their studies and job searches. The laptops have also been a great help to the staff at the destitution centre, who are often working long hours and don’t have time to access the internet at home.

“We are very grateful for the kind donation of laptops to the service users of the Red Cross Hackney Destitution Centre. The Destitution Centre provides practical support to people seeking asylum, most of whom are not entitled to work and have no recourse to public funds. This partnership has enabled some of our service users to access laptops to help with their studies, communication with families as well as legal support. This support would not have been possible without the partnership with Socialbox.Biz On behalf of the service users and staff at the Red Cross Hackney Destitution Centre, we would like to thank Socialbox for this invaluable partnership.”

SOCIALBOX.BIZ | CASE STORIES | 28 JULY 2023 

Numerous lives have been touched in 2023 because of the partnerships between SocialBox.Biz, local charitable organisations, and enterprises/educational organisations who’ve chosen to donate their unused, outdated, still operable tech to our noble cause. Each of the following case studies follow the journeys of three different people who were supported by both the British Red Cross and the SocialBox.Biz donation programme.

In one case study, the British Red Cross donated a laptop with open source software procured through SocialBox.Biz community interest initiative to a woman who arrived in London with her husband and daughter through the Ukraine Family Scheme. Upon arrival, she had her most precious belongings in a single suitcase, but now, she’s settling in England and going to college. Some of her classes are online, and because of the laptop, she’s able to pursue higher education and live a safe, stable life.

In another case study from the winter, a family of refugees fled to England to escape the Syrian conflict. Securing financial means and housing have been difficult for this family, but with laptops from SocialBox.Biz, the situation has gotten better. The two children are able to catch up on schooling, which was interrupted because of their displacement. The husband and wife are now taking ESOL classes online. According to them, the laptops they’ve received have been instrumental in their new lives in the UK.

Lastly, a mother and her three adult children came to the UK on a family reunion visa, and social workers with the British Red Cross discovered that a laptop would be critical in helping the family continue with studies that were already ongoing. Now, despite the many hardships this family has faced, the adult learners have been able to pursue various studies with their laptop. They’ve been inspired to go to local libraries to satisfy their intellectual curiosity with research on science, medicine, and English. Now, they are on track to begin a new semester at college this fall.

People who’ve faced some of the worst humanitarian disasters of the modern age have been able to begin the process of healing and starting a new life thanks to laptops procured by SocialBox.Biz. The partnership of companies, and higher education organisations for the donation of old but usable tech is critical to our mission. We invite you to connect with us today to learn how your donation can make a major impact in lives right here in the UK.

Additional case studies from The Passage charity received 7th June and 31st July 2023

Case study – Carl
In 2022, Carl found himself faced with unexpected challenges as he experienced the loss of both his job and his home. Struggling to find stability, he relied on the kindness of a friend to provide temporary accommodation, but the situation became increasingly difficult, leaving Carl without a place to stay.

Carl sought assistance from a local night shelter, where he received support and later temporary accommodation from the Council. With determination to improve his circumstances, Carl was referred to the Passage Employment Service, an organisation dedicated to helping individuals impacted by homelessness to access training and employment opportunities.

Motivated by his goal of working in the security field, Carl diligently attended appointments at the Passage, where he received valuable support to pursue his aspirations. With the Passage assistance, Carl is now on track to attend training and obtain an SIA qualification, which will open doors for him to work as a security guard. Additionally, the Passage is helping him find part-time work while he studies, ensuring he can sustain himself during this transformative period.

A significant turning point in Carl’s journey came when he received a generous laptop donation from SocialBox, facilitated by the Passage. This laptop not only enables Carl to stay connected with loved ones but also provides access to the training needed to achieve his qualification. With newfound independence, Carl can also attend CV writing session and actively search for and apply to job opportunities, propelling him forward in his life.

The laptop serves as a symbol of hope and progress, offering Carl the means to forge a brighter future. Its impact is immeasurable, empowering him to regain control of his destiny and embark on a path filled with possibilities.

The positive impact is evident in the stories of individuals who have transformed their lives through meaningful employment, underscoring the vital role of such programs in creating pathways to stability and independence.

Case study – Matt ( Received on 31st July 2023 )

(name changed).

A case study for a SocialBox.Biz laptop given to a client of The Passage charity partner.

Matt’s story

After a family bereavement I found myself homeless. I lived on the streets and during this time I accessed the Passage Resource centre, where I eventually joined in an art therapy class.

I became a regular attendee as it offered a safe space to create and a release from the situation I found myself in. I slowly found myself falling in love with art.

The cascading colours and the dreamy contours became my closest friend. I felt alive again. The world was my canvas, and I was ready to show everyone how I was feeling and how being homeless turned me into an artist.

I am happy to say I have now moved into long term independent housing within The Passage. I am settled in and continue to exhibit my artwork in many places.

This laptop will support me to maintain regular correspondence with the art therapy group, access community events, exhibitions liaising/comms around my current work and further develop my hobbies and interests.

The laptop will also support me in managing and sustaining his current tenancy by ensuring I am able to access my universal credit and benefits independently. 

 Matt has shared a passion to share his work and volunteer in supporting other individuals who’ve experienced or are experiencing homelessness to develop and re-discover their hobbies. We have provided Montford House with an additional SocialBox.Biz laptop so they can facilitate this in the future.

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SocialBox.Biz – 2024 update 

Companies can now solve their impact problems and reduce scope 3 emissions from old tech by sponsoring additional students, basic computer classes and tech labs for older people living on small pensions and refugees integrating into British society, please contact us to discuss further: https://www.socialbox.biz/corporate-impact/

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