Waltham Forest laptop donation drive?

Hi all. I’m new here!

I was just looking at the great list of laptop donation groups in London. I noticed there isn’t one in Waltham Forest where I live. I know of one laptop appeal at a local primary school (South Grove), but not a borough-wide group. Are there any other restarters in the area that might be interested in doing something? I have no experience in this area but would like to help in some way.

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Hi Reuben, Welcome! (We’d love a self-intro on the pinned post too :wink:)

We are planning on setting up a “help-desk” where groups around London can place requests for help, and they can be allocated to Restarters. So far we’ve been collaborating with the organisations on this list

But I suppose that we could invite IT staff of schools to open tickets on this help-desk, too, provided we have some Restarters nearby who commit to help.

We have had very successful events in Waltham Forest in the past, and there are some Restarters living not too far away. @London - anybody there who might want to help out in Waltham Forest?

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Hi Reuben, go to www.bbc.co.uk/makeadifference. Click on ‘donate a laptop’. London organisations are collecting unwanted laptops, for free, & taking them to Finsbury Business Centre. Laptops are refurbished for distribution to school children so they can access the 10,000 online lessons produced by 'Oak National Academy.

Welcome @Reuben_Binns! Great to hear you’re up for helping. With any luck, some local Restarters will be up for getting involved too.

@VALERIE_STEPHENSON, thanks for that and welcome! As it happens, that BBC list links right back to the list of UK organisations we’ve put together (including our list of London organisations). The idea here is to mobilise people and groups on the ground to help out too - the more we can involve people locally, the more impact we can all make :slight_smile:

Hey James & Crew…

This is a great idea and a brilliant way for Restart (and the other organisations involved) to help during lockdown.

I was wondering if it’d be possible to create a template/model for other Restart groups to help in a similar way, using a standard process for refurbishing?

Some thoughts I had are;

Who is responsible for wiping the data off the hd/ssd - us or the donor?

How are these covered for Windows licensing (using the original OEM key on the laptop?, or maybe installing linux?)

Is a waiver required by the organisation receiving the laptops, or does the insurance that most Restart groups already have cover this?

The tricky bit with these types of initiatives is always the data security side, regardless of it it’s been donated by a company or an individual. If there’s a way to get over this hurdle, it could open donations of other equipment to those in need.

Thanks all

Some answers. We will definitely document our way of working with groups, especially in a decentralised, Covid-safe way. We can share here.

Who is responsible for wiping the data off the hd/ssd - us or the donor?

In most cases, it’s the receiving group and their volunteers. Individuals don’t always do this. We have great advice on our Wiki. Companies often wipe machines and/or remove drives before they donate them.

How are these covered for Windows licensing (using the original OEM key on the laptop?, or maybe installing linux?)

Nobody we know puts Windows on these machines. Too much of a hassle. It’s Chrome OS or Linux.

Is a waiver required by the organisation receiving the laptops, or does the insurance that most Restart groups already have cover this?

Each receiving org has their own protocol. Re insurance, we can only assume that they have the most basic public liability insurance to cover their work, and safeguarding policies. Don’t think any insurance would cover data breaches or problems with this sort of work, but I could be shown otherwise.

Also noting that some organisations don’t give away the laptops, they loan them out, so they even have agreements with recipients. This is an interesting approach and probably increases the sense of shared responsibility all around.

Thanks Janet.

It’s good timing - at work my manager recently asked me if I had any bright ideas about how our staff could donate equipment from home (old iPads, laptops, etc) in a safe/secure way to those that needed them. I don’t think there’s any initiatives locally that do this already, but it aligns so closely to Restart/Repair cafe I think it makes sense to consider it (even more so with lockdown - man, i’m really starting to hate that phrase). Happy to help out where I can on this.

As a business, best thing is to use this website - seems highly scalable and is working well across the country

Apols to @Reuben_Binns as this as gone slightly off topic! Perhaps @Adam we should start a new thread on options for repair groups that would like to help out :wink: I’m attending a call tonight with laptop reuse projects across the country and I can share notes there too.

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Thanks for all the answers, everyone!

The help desk idea sounds great and a good solution for areas which don’t have dedicated laptop donation projects. I’ll keep an eye out for other Waltham Forest Restarters too.

I’ll also go introduce myself on the pinned post :slight_smile:

Hi Reuben, It is great to see new projects starting up all over London. A few of us meet weekly to discuss problems and support each other, and we also have a slack channel that is nicely growing. If you send me your email I will be happy to add you. info@mer-it.org :slight_smile:
All the best!

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