Reboot scheme seeks laptop donations to get people online

Ella Smith of Augment Partnership looks over a donated device with Peter Smith at the Skipton Wellbeing Café.

A North Yorkshire Council scheme that provides new homes for unwanted laptops and other devices is proving a lifeline for residents who might not otherwise be able to get online.

The Reboot service has helped hundreds of people since it was set up in 2021, but needs more donations to help to meet demand across North Yorkshire.

Success stories include a resident who was having trouble making and keeping up to date with her NHS appointments and another who was in financial difficulty and received help to update her curriculum vitae, receiving a job offer soon after.

To be considered for use in the scheme, devices must be in working order and be under five years old. They must have password protection and any personal items removed.

They can then be handed in to any of the county’s libraries from where suitable candidates are found.

“We allow people who would not otherwise be able to afford a device or are unsure if it is for them to get one for free,” said head of North Yorkshire Council’s stronger communities programme, Marie-Ann Jackson.

“This allows them to improve their social connectivity, health and wellbeing and get better access to friends, families or interests. It also enables people to gain access to education and training to improve employability and skills.”

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for corporate services, Cllr David Chance, said access to the internet was imperative in the digital age.

“While we want to maintain and encourage personal interaction wherever possible, there is no getting away from the fact that many things these days require people to be online,” he said.

“The Reboot scheme can help people do the things that the majority of us can take for granted. For people who live on their own access to the internet means access to friends and family.

“If you have a laptop that’s just gathering dust or your company or organisation is about to upgrade its devices, then please do consider donating to this scheme. It can make such a positive difference to people’s lives.”

In Richmondshire, devices can be left at libraries in Richmond and Hawes.

More information on the Reboot scheme can be found online at https://rebootny.co.uk/