The Edinburgh Remakery Partner with People Know How
Helping Edinburgh Businesses Help the Community

Edinburgh businesses have the opportunity to help their communities and the environment during the coronavirus pandemic thanks to a new collaboration between charitable organisations, the Edinburgh Remakery and People Know How.

Since lockdown began in March 2020, the Edinburgh Remakery and People Know How both separately set about offering services that would support those most affected by the pandemic. It became obvious very quickly that digital poverty and social isolation were negatively impacting many already disadvantaged communities who could not afford, or did not have access to, any means to connect with their friends, family, or outside support services.

Working in partnership, the Edinburgh Remakery and People Know How have now created a free service for businesses and organisations across Edinburgh to pass on their old computers, laptops, and IT equipment to be refurbished and delivered straight into the hands of those living in some of the most deprived areas of the city.

Not only does this service offer a significant social benefit in tackling the growing digital divide, but the fixing of old and damaged equipment also has an environmental benefit with e-waste being one of the most hazardous polluters on the planet.

IT Centric have been the first business to sign up to utilise this new collaborative service, with many more already in the process of joining. Gordon Sayers, Managing Director of IT Centric, highlights the positive environmental impact that taking this easy step has enabled his company to have, saying, “At IT Centric we genuinely believe in doing our part to protect the environment… Anything we can do to extend the life of old IT equipment through recycling and upcycling has got to be one of our higher priorities.”

People Know How and the Edinburgh Remakery hope that this service will be of interest to organisations, not only for its environmental and social benefits but also because of its ease of use.

“We have been told by many local businesses that they have struggled to find an affordable and straight-forward method to dispose of their old equipment in a way that is environmentally-friendly”, says Elaine Brown, CEO of the Edinburgh Remakery. “Many organisations also have social responsibility policies to adhere to, so we hope that many will make use of this completely free service which benefits them, the community, and the environment in one easy process.”

The Edinburgh Remakery has been running a thriving IT refurbishment and repair department since opening in 2016. With the ability to take in secondhand laptops, computers, ipads, and smart phones, and give these items a new lease of life, they were able to quickly pivot this operation to help those in need suffering from digital poverty and social exclusion as a result of lockdown as part of their #RemakeADifference community projects.

Similarly, during the pandemic, People Know How developed Computer Delivery, their emergency COVID-response project. This project delivers donated devices to the community and provides follow up phone support, allowing individuals to stay connected, access resources and home-school their children. Recipients also have the opportunity to join the charity’s Learn Digital project to receive ongoing digital skills support to use devices, navigate the web, improve financial health, find jobs, study, and more.

“We know that our customers take some comfort in knowing that IT equipment they have had to upgrade for operational reasons is able to be reused in some form for charitable purposes by people in the community who would otherwise not have access to their own desktop or laptops”, continues Sayers of IT Centric, “this new partnership is a win-win for ourselves and our customers”.

To date, People Know How have sent out over 1,200 devices to help families and individuals in need and, through this partnership, both People Know How and the Edinburgh Remakery hope to be able to continue to provide help to those who need it for as long as it’s needed.

“People Know How is delighted to be collaborating with Edinburgh Remakery, especially at this time when it is important that we align resources and expertise to make the greatest impact. By working together we can support more people and look ahead at other ways of collaborating. The team at People Know How welcomes the opportunity to put one of our key values of collaboration into action.” – Glenn Liddall, Chief Executive of People Know How.

Businesses looking to find out more about this free service can find further information on the Edinburgh Remakery Business IT Disposal page.

People Know How is currently looking for volunteers to support individuals to improve digital skills as Digital Guides. Volunteer today at www.peopleknowhow.org/join-our-team

0