'Laptops for Homeless Support' initiative launches social media campaign, aiming to collect over 1,000 laptops by 2020

Written by Samantha Lade for DonateToday

PUBLISHED: 15:55, 25th Oct 2017 | UPDATED: 12:57, 26th Oct 2017

Over 2 million working or part-functional laptops and computers are replaced every single year in the UK

An online campaign has been launched in support of a nationwide appeal to collect and repair old laptops for people who have previously been homeless.

The 'Laptops for Homeless Support' initiative was previously launched offline, but has now taken to social media platforms such as Twitter to grab the attention of industry CEOs, CIOs and IT Managers.

The London-based appeal is run via a joint partnership between the technology social enterprise SocialBox.biz and homelessness charity Thames Reach.

SocialBox.biz – who use technology to support social causes – will be collecting the laptops, whilst Thames Reach will be distributing the refurbished laptops.

The social enterprise suggest that roughly 2 million working or part-functional laptops and computers are replaced in the UK each year. They see computers as a 'vital' resource to succeed in today's world, so try to ensure that no one is left behind or forgotten.

The initiative therefore aims to collect 1,000 old or damaged laptops over the next three years. The laptops will then be distributed out to individuals who have recently experienced homelessness.

Thames Reach will supply laptops to those using their services, to help them to get their lives back on track via the medium of the internet. 

This will allow these individuals a real chance to integrate back into society, through searching and applying for jobs online, as well as getting back in touch and keeping in contact with family and friends.

Founder of SocialBox.biz Peter Paduh, who was nominated as Tech Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2017 UK Tech Awards, said of the project: 'It’s about bettering our communities and societies.

"This year, 964 people slept rough on any one night in London, accounting for 23% of the national figure."

Thames Reach | 2017

'We take the laptops some view as no longer needed and giving them to the people who need them the most. We are leveraging Twitter as a tool to make this possible for us.'

Yussuf Omar is a laptop recipient who used to be homeless but now partakes in IT sessions ran at Thames Reach's Employment Academy. He said: 'I've never had a computer before, so getting a laptop has been great for me, helping with my personal development.'

So far, 150 refurbished laptops have been donated to Thames Reach and their services through the initiative.