A blog post update from The Passage and Centrepoint charity partners (November 2019)
One of our partners, Centrepoint, recently sat down with us to discuss the Laptops for the Homeless Initiative and the impact they’ve seen.
At Centrepoint, nearly 12% of their clients are asylum seekers or refugees, and putting laptops in their hands gives them access to ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses, other academic courses, study resources, and even job opportunities.
More than just a handy piece of technology, Centrepoint clients find that the laptops they receive via SocialBox.Biz CIC platform with open source software help them connect with the world around them, communicate with family members, get an education, and find career opportunities. Centrepoint has already received 27 case studies exemplifying how laptops and other technologies provided via Socialox.Biz Community Interest platform are helping clients with EET opportunities.
One such client, Salman, is a 17 year old unaccompanied minor suffering from anxiety and various life stressors. Still, he has persevered and shown 100% attendance in his studies. Having a laptop has made Salman’s academic progress a more seamless journey and has helped him integrate into British society. With his laptop, Salman can easily complete his IT homework, and he also uses it to play cultural music in his room as a therapy. According to Salman, his laptop has helped him regain independence and freedom because it allows him to do his work in his room away from the crowd.
Another such client, Haroon arrived to the UK after having a difficult journey. All he wanted was to learn English and feel safe. His new laptop continues to contribute to a really positive transformation.
H says since having a laptop he has gain knowledge about all the current technology around. He explained to me that after years of travelling and living in refugee camp across the world he was starting to feel connected to the world. He enjoys google searches and finding interesting facts about England, he often shows staff comedic videos on YouTube to enjoy with him.
His really proud of his new belongings. When given his laptop he said ‘ I will learn every day to be my best’. At his most recent PEP review meeting Haroon’s teacher told his social worker; ‘his attendance at college is excellent and he is doing well on the course’. ‘He remains very motivated about his English, completing homework on time’. Haroon says “Thank you for my college bag and laptop.”
Centrepoint recognizes that Salman’s and Haroon’s stories are just two of many that need to be heard. As the housing crisis worsens, Centrepoint finds it difficult to house all of their clients in permanent accommodation, but being able to provide their clients with laptops allows them to go out and apply for housing on their own whilst saying in a shelter. This opens up new and exciting opportunities for clients who are working with Centrepoint’s housing team.
By joining forces with the Laptops for the Homeless Initiative, Centrepoint is able to more efficiently reach their goals. The team at Centrepoint encourages other companies and organizations who want to make a positive difference to consider what they are doing with their technology.
“These laptops, no longer needed by businesses, can be used to help young people become more independent, and also promote environmental sustainability,” said the team at Centrepoint. “I would seriously recommend the SocialBox.Biz Laptops for the Homeless Initiative as I have seen how beneficial reusing old tech locally to help the disadvantaged groups of people has been.”
See 3 more examples of how the donated laptops have greatly improved the lives of the clients who received them. Please let me know if you would like more case studies.
MM – 21 year old female who came to London (The Passage) from the North of England. Whilst working with the Education, Training & Employment team MM managed to secure 2 part time jobs. We then able to refer MM to our Private Rented Sector (PRS) housing team and MM was rehouse in worker accommodation.
Reasons for supplying MM with a laptop:
MM lives with various levels of depression & at present is not attending a support group due to being new in the area
– does not have a TV
– wants to keep in contact with family
– wants to look for college /University courses
Having a laptop has enable MM to have email/internet family/community contact/news of the outside world
SO – 42 year old male who moved into PRS when he was attending a 10 week hospitality course.
Reasons for supplying MM with a laptop:
– Was a plumber by trade, however, felt he had to stop work due to suffering from bouts of Depression & Anxiety and now wants to look for work
– Had no social networks/does not attend groups and is at risk of social isolation
Having a laptop has enable SB to research support groups in his local area, keep in contact with friends via facebook and listen to music on Utube. SB is also able to log on to his Universal Credit account for job search of to contact his work advisor
JK – 38 year old Spanish national who came to London to look for work in early May 2019.
JS had paid for a hostel, hoping that he would be able to find a job before his savings ran out. Unfortunately, most of his belongings were stolen (including his money savings). He then accessed the Passage whilst looking for work. He then managed to secure a cleaning position. Our team helped him with the referral to the night shelter for the first few weeks when he started work. Whilst he was working, he saved up money and we introduced him to the relevant housing team to explore accommodation options. He is now in PRS accommodation. We consequently offered him a donated laptop. With this device, he can easily look for a new job (he is hoping to develop his career in the security industry) and he can keep in contact with his family in Spain.”
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