Wiltshire Digital Drive gifts over 100 laptops to Ukrainian refugees

By Nick Batten on 12 May, 2022

Ukrainian families due to be rehomed in Wiltshire will be given access to technology, thanks to a generous donation by a local company. 

Wiltshire Digital Drive, set up to refurbish and re-distribute second-hand laptops free of charge, delivered 120 devices to two organisations in Swindon last week for them to gift to Ukrainian refugees. 

70 Chromebooks went to The Harbour Project, which helps families and individuals either seeking asylum, or who have been granted refugee status.

Jaz Sumal, Business Manager for The Harbour Project, said, “We’re so grateful for these devices from Wiltshire Digital Drive. Being able to get online means these families can contact their friends and family who they have been split from, continue with their learning and look for ways to start rebuilding their lives. Everyone who has helped our Ukrainian families have been so kind and generous and we thank you, on their behalf, for all your support.” 

A further 50 laptops were delivered to Swindon Borough Council’s Warm Welcome Team. A representative of the team, who was delighted to receive the donation on the council’s behalf, said, “We cannot say thank you enough for this kind donation from Wiltshire Digital Drive. These 50 laptops are really going to help those being aided by the Homes for Ukraine scheme to access the services they need.” 

Natalie Sherman, Co-Director at Wiltshire Digital Drive, didn’t hesitate to help out the families. She said, “Since forming in October 2020, we’ve been able to generate a huge amount of stock, thanks to the generosity of Wiltshire residents and local businesses. As the crisis in the Ukraine began to unfold, Kieran (my co-director) and I knew we had to do something to help.

“The team at Priority IT have worked hard to upgrade the machines and I was so pleased when the teams in Swindon welcomed my gesture with open arms. We can only imagine what these families have been through and how they’re feeling so we just hope these laptops will go a small way in helping them to settle and feel supported.”

Natalie added, “The support hasn’t ended at the Wiltshire border. 20 laptops have travelled to a charity in Cambridgeshire supporting refugees to settle too.” 

Those wishing to donate and organisations supporting individuals who need access to a laptop can apply via the website: www.wiltshiredigitaldivide.org 

All donations are securely wiped, and update operating systems are installed before they are re-distributed. Any donations that can’t be used are recycled sustainably.