Do you have an old laptop, smartphone, PC or tablet that you no longer use? So much of what we do today is reliant on some form of technology but some people living in Frome are struggling with digital access or are unable to function in this digital age. Whether it’s isolated elderly residents, those on low incomes or recently settled refugees – having access to a device isn’t always possible, or a priority, and this can affect day to day living such as getting access to services like online appointments or keeping in touch with family and friends.
It is estimated that every household is hoarding 5 or more pieces of IT, from old smartphones, laptops, PCs to tablets, they’re sitting gathering dust, but many are still viable pieces of tech which could be repurposed for someone who needs it. DonateIT, supported by Frome Medical Practice (Health Connections team) and Frome Town Council, are running a Tech Amnesty on Saturday 3rd December from 10am – 1pm in the car park of the Town Hall. They are asking residents and businesses to pop by with their unused tech so it can be repurposed to find a new home.
Will Palmer, Digital Connector for the Health Connections team is running the campaign and said: “We’ve already seen the benefits of distributing free sim cards and devices to those in Frome and have identified that there is a greater need, so we’re asking you to gather any old tech that’s just sitting at home and bring it along on the day. We’ve teamed up with DonateIT who will take the devices and securely ensure that all personal data is safely wiped off any device. Together with other local partners, we will then be able to re-distribute to those who really need them in Frome.”
Simon Barfoot established the DonateIT CIC back in 2021, since then they have collected over 2500 items of tech, he said: “Since we started, we have been able to repurpose over 465 items and given them back to recipients all over Somerset. We’ve also been able to recycle anything that can’t find a new lease of life. We’re excited to bring this next tech amnesty drive to Frome and look forward to getting lots of refurbished items back into the community here.”
Cllr Anne Hills said: “Frome Town Council is delighted to support this campaign, the benefits are endless, not only because eligible members of our community are able to receive the refurbished devices and can become digitally connected, but we’re also saving items unnecessarily going to landfill. So please have a rummage at home, in the loft, under the bed for any tech items you no longer need and bring them along on Saturday 3rd December.”
For more information on DonateIT, please visit their website.
Or to learn more about the Digital Connect Project from Health Connections Frome.
If you are donating an Apple device, please ensure it is free from iCloud lock as we are unable to turn these into donations or return them to you.
Take a look at the list below for items that will be welcomed at the Tech Amnesty:
|Devices to donate||Items that can’t be donated|
|Tablets*||Plug in telephones**|
|PCs*||Keyboards and mice**|
|Hard drives*||Fax machines**|
|Games consoles and accessories*||Scanners**|
|Digital Cameras*||All in one printers**|
*Including if relevant power supply, AC adaptor, mains power and ancillary accessories to allow re-use.
** All these can be handled in the other Household Waste Recycling Centre streams however bear in mind some may still be data bearing and need data wiped.
Footnote: DonateIT CIC was established following the Laptop4Learners campaign that was spearheaded by Somerset Cllr Sarah Dyke during the Covid-19 pandemic. Cllr Dyke’s campaign has paved the way for communities to run their own tech amnesties and provide refurbished technology and digital access to those that need it.