The TechShare Scheme is an initiative that provides donated digital, internet-enabled devices for households in Clackmannanshire. With this scheme, we aim to get digital devices and internet access to locals with no access, and/or resource to gain access themselves. It was put in place by us in response to COVID-19 and has already provided 77 digital devices across 65 local households throughout the pandemic thus far.
Funded by the Corra Foundation and the Supporting Communities Fund, TechShare is able to take donated digital devices from local people and companies (e.g. laptops, tablets, mobile phones, desktop computers), have local company Fusion IT ensure they are fit for purpose and equipped with software needed by users, before redistributing them in our community. Our IT & Employability Trainer Brian Weaver also provides IT support where required, either through printed “how to” leaflets or over the phone.
Why Does The TechShare Scheme Exist?
The donated devices and internet access assist Clackmannanshire locals to keep connected with their friends, family, and vital support services, it helps them to keep up job seeking activities, and in some cases it enables them to take their first steps into the Digital World.
Pre-COVID, there was already an evident gap in digital access and skills locally within our more deprived areas. With the lockdown restrictions introduced in March 2020, access to digital was more limited than ever for this demographic, with local libraries, community hubs etc. closing. Moreover, having any kind of social contact with loved ones outside of one’s household was and is currently only possible online or over the phone. Yet, we know that social contact is vital for our mental health, especially in such trying times.
Consequently, this is where the CTSI TechShare Scheme comes in: it enables people, especially older adults, job seekers, and families to access the internet, who would otherwise be cut off from the Digital World and, thus, also from any means to socially connect.
Who Qualifies For This Scheme?
To qualify and be put on the waiting list for a device, a few criteria must be met: the individual must be a Clackmannanshire resident, and they must be referred to CTSI’s TechShare team through a referral partner, such as Job Centre Plus, Clackmannanshire Works, or Clackmannanshire Women’s Aid.
Where Can I Donate A Device?
This scheme very much depends on donations of devices in good working order. If you, or someone you know would like to donate a device(s), please contact CTSI on 01259 213840, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website http://bit.ly/donate-a-device.