By Iain Patton, Managing Director and Founder Ethical Team
London 20 June: SocialBox.Biz, a UK-based social enterprise that takes unwanted tech to-reuse and re-home it for those in need, is appealing for support from businesses during Refugee Week which falls between the 19th – 25th of June 2023.
Refugee Week is a week-long celebration of refugees’ contributions, creativity, resilience and courage. The 25th-anniversary theme is compassion and what it looks like in action. This has been central to SocialBox.Biz’s mission to improve the lives of refugees by providing them with access to upgraded laptops with open source software.
By donating old and unused devices on an ongoing basis, companies and organisations solve their impact problems and help bridge the digital divide and provide access to technology and communication to those who most need it. SocialBox.Biz has been providing rehomed laptops and other tech devices to organisations and individuals working with refugees, homeless people, and older people who cannot afford computers since 2014.
SocialBox.Biz Social Impact spokesperson, Carolyn Williams said: “We are the only Community Interest Company re-homing old but usable tech from companies, universities, and other large organisations and placing them in the hands of the disadvantaged in local UK communities in this way. We provide on-site data removal service and load the technology with open-source software, solving common problems for IT teams and social impact problems for our clients. We’ve done a lot, but we will do a lot more with the help of more partners.”
Rachel Woolf, Director of Street Storage Charity said: “The computer has been all set up – our brilliant Apprentice Cameron found a monitor and installed all the right apps and systems that we need, so we are in business! Thank you again – it is so appreciated and having a working computer is a vital service we offer to people experiencing homelessness who use our centre.
SocialBoxBiz’s founder and Chairman, Peter Paduh, a former child refugee, said:“My life changed when I was donated an old computer to support my education and transition into British society.
“A simple laptop opened up a whole new world for me, one where I could integrate into society by applying for jobs, and researching people and places to help me reach my goals.
“Without a laptop, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I’ve done, and as we mark Refugee Week, it’s important to remember that refugees are people just like us who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict or persecution. By donating usable laptops and other tech, you can help provide a lifeline for refugees and other disadvantaged people who are trying to rebuild their lives.”
Purpose-driven UK communications agency Ethical Team is one such company that has provided desktop computers, monitors and a printer to SocialBoxBiz. Iain Patton, Managing Director and Founder, said: “As a business, we try and ‘walk the talk’, and recycling isn’t always the best option.
“Much equipment can be repurposed, and I am sure if more companies and organisations were aware of SocialBox.Biz, they would support this initiative. If UK plc is to reduce its considerable carbon footprint, it needs to produce far less electrical waste. British businesses are harbouring a vast amount of computers, screens, phones, printers, scanners, photocopiers that could all help the disadvantaged people.”
To date SocialBox.Biz has repurposed 1000’s of machines and hope to reach upto 1000 per month in the near future.Reuse is better than recycled as it produces social impact and reduces scope 3 emissions. and where possible should be prioritised before recycling and disposal by donating to local re-use organisations.
Notes to Editor
About Peter Paduh – Founder and former Bosnian Child Refugee
Peter Paduh, a former unaccompanied Bosnian child refugee, was given an old laptop when he left a children’s home and moved to a foster family in 1993. He now wants to give back to British society by helping the underprivileged and older people develop IT skills with donated equipment so they have the same support that he received as a child.
About Social Box.Biz
SocialBox.Biz launched in 2014 to take unused and outdated laptops and other no longer needed but still usable technology from businesses, organisations, and other agencies and wipe them clean before upgrading with open source innovation and donating them to those in need. Today, the company is working towards larger donation milestones. SocialBox.Biz IT service extends the lifespan of redundant laptops and computers, increases social impact and helps companies with CSR commitments. Donated laptops help refugees, older people, and people experiencing homelessness who need support with their education and career while also giving them a platform to communicate with friends and loved ones.
SocialBox.Biz’s long-standing initiative has been helping the most vulnerable who cannot afford a computer and homeless people get back on their feet, and refugees integrate into British society. With regular access to personal computers, disadvantaged individuals can practice basic job skills, shop for basic needs, and keep in touch with friends and family.
Available for Interview CEO and Founder Peter Paduh plus case studies relating to refugees, homelessness, migrants and older vulnerable individuals.
Pictures on request