SECOND hand computers are helping residents and community groups to reap the benefits of going it alone.
Housing provider Isos donated 200 used compters and laptops it was replacing to Acorn Community Reuse and Recycling CIC, a social enterprise that refurbishes unwanted technology equipment before selling it on at a low cost or donating it.
The first of the renovated computers have now been given back to the community, with a number of Tyneside groups and more than 20 Isos residents already benefiting from the low-cost technology.
Sara Parker-Clarke from Isos said: “Having access to a computer can make a world of difference to our residents and community groups alike.
“It’s great that through something as simple as donating our unwanted equipment we can make a positive difference to our residents and the wider community.”
Among the first groups to benefit were Linskill Healthy Walks in North Shields, and St Paul’s Community Partnership in Willington Quay.
Andy Robertson, of the Linskill organisation, which provides free guided health walks for members of its local community, said: “The new computer means we can now securely store and share the information that is needed by our 16 walk leaders.
“We’re also hoping that the computer can be used to produce leaflets and newsletters to better promote the work we do.
“The computer will make a big difference – we had wanted one for a while, so it’s great to have one.”
Andy Merrill, community development worker at St Paul’s Community Partnership, which received four of the computers, said: “The new computers mean we now have an IT suite that local people can use to type up their CVs, apply for jobs and access the internet.
“These computers mean local people are building skills and taking steps toward employment.”
Any Isos residents or community groups who want more information on Acorn should visit www.acorncr.co.uk