Old computers have been handed over to community groups by Somerset County Council.
Old and unused computers, identified by the County Council’s partner Southwest One, have been given to a voluntary organisation called Community Computers which has refurbished the PCs and uploaded the latest Microsoft packages.
One of the first community groups to benefit from the scheme is Open Door in Taunton, a day centre for rough sleepers, which opened its new internet café today (Monday 8 September).
Cllr David Huxtable, Cabinet Member responsible for resources, said: “We need our resources to be flexible and up to date for our staff to work effectively but we don’t want our old IT equipment to go to waste. I am delighted that our old computers are being put to good use by community organisations. I hope that the project will continue and more charities and community groups can benefit from our old computers in the future.”
Cllr David Hall, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economic Development and Connecting Devon and Somerset, said: “We want to more and more people to have better access to IT equipment and the internet so they can access the services they need and improve their job prospects. The new internet café at Open Door will be really valuable I am sure for vulnerable local people who otherwise could not access services and support online.”
Mark Woodcock, manager of Open Door in Taunton, said: “With more and more services, help and information being only available online, having access to the internet is very important to help someone move forward with their lives. This new internet café is a valuable and much needed service for rough sleepers and other vulnerable groups and will offer a job club, training, mentoring and volunteering opportunities.”
Lawrence Rayment, Project Manager of Community Computers, said: “We are very happy to be part of this project. We refurbish the computers expanding their life span, whilst making sure the IT equipment is in good working order to benefit community groups and individuals. We look forward to helping more community organisations in the future.”
Mark O’Brien, Chief Information Officer at Southwest One, said: “I am delighted Southwest One has been able to support this worthwhile community project by working with Somerset County Council to provide the computers for the internet café, we wish it every success.”