Working with other member organisations in Hackney & Islington Citizens, we have now secured over 140 laptops and other internet enabled devices as part of the Shoreditch 300 campaign.
Our campaign aims to address the challenge many households in our neighbourhood are currently experiencing as they struggle with home-schooling and home-working without suitable devices or without adequate internet supply.
We recognised that there was a need to supply laptops and tablets to the most deprived households in our community, as well as 'MIFI' dongles for internet access. (We're also working to bring free or highly subsidised high-speed internet access to our neighbourhood by partnering with communications companies.)
After a successful campaign action in the form of a 'Video Letter' to major tech companies, we recently met with several companies based in Shoreditch, such as Amazon, Box and Plaid. (You can view the Video letter here.) Between them they've agreed to donate over £20,000 in financial contributions to our campaign, as well as donating equipment.
Over 80 devices have already been distributed by one of our partner institutions, ELATT, and we've have today taken delivery of a further 45 laptops ready to distribute to the most needy households.
The Digital Inclusion campaign team was made up of leaders form the following member institutions:
- Wesley's Chapel & Leysian Mission
- New Unity, Stoke Newington Green
- St John's Hoxton
- Hackney & Stoke Newington Methodist Circuit
Laptops will be distributed by authorised leaders of these institutions based on an assessment of local need.
St John's Hoxton has a limited allocation of laptops and MIFI dongles with pre-paid data allowances to distribute, and we will distribute with the support of two key local partners: St John the Baptist Primary School and the Ivy St Family Centre.
If you belong to St John's Hoxton, SJB or Ivy St,
you can fill in an application form here.
We will prioritise by key categories:
i) Households with home-schooling children and insufficient devices;
ii) Households with only one adult suffering isolation and / or loneliness;
iii) Households in which adults are unemployed and job-seeking with insufficient devices for making applications or attending interviews; and
iv) Households in which adults are studying or training while their children are home-schooling
Hackney Council Digital Support
Hackney Council also have some helpful initiatives to help support communities with digital inclusion:
- Digital Buddies
A trained young person will offer guidance with tech issues via personalised, one-to-one advice over the phone. Please visit www.hackney.gov.uk/digital-skills#buddies to request a buddy or complete this Form for someone wanting a buddy. You can complete this form on behalf of someone else, and specific support for over 50s is also available.
- Digital Skills
Digital Skills at https://hackney.gov.uk/digital-skills features short and simple video guides about Zoom, email, downloading an app, online shopping, searching the Internet, QR codes etc.