Hundreds helped by donated computers

Hundreds of Liverpool people have benefited from a scheme in which surplus council computers were given to community and voluntary groups.

The groups were asked to bid, in Autumn last year, for the computers which were no longer needed by the council.

A total of 300 reconditioned PCs were made available with a further 100 distributed by LCVs to groups to help them improve their business performance. Funding from the Mayoral Development Fund was made available to refresh the computers.

They were aimed at delivering projects to build the skills, knowledge and capacity, in areas such as computer skills, budgeting, job seeking and CV writing, of local and vulnerable residents in the city to improve their quality of life.

An evaluation of the project – in which 31 out of the 49 organisations who received the computers have responded to date – shows that:

• More than 300 local residents accessed employability workshops between April and September  using the computers  to access the Universal Job match website
• 30 people registered with Learn My Way to develop basic IT skills
• 22 older people  completed a six week course with a local IT digital champion  and now use email, the internet and social media and a further 12 older people attended a basic ours to help them become silver surfers
• 105 job seekers developed their CV’s
• More than 250 people accessed the computes in the waiting room of an advice and guidance organisation
• People with learning difficulties have been able to get involved with social media in the Clock Community Centre.

Councillor Steve Munby, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “These computers no longer met the needs of the council but could still be used.

“Rather than just ditch them we decided that we could help give those people who do not have a computer the chance to access one and the best way to do that was to give them to groups who could make them available to as many people as possible.

“The numbers who benefited from them and improved their skills shows that the computers have been very well used.  We want to make sure that nobody in our city has their life chances reduced because they do not have access to a computer and this scheme has helped in that aim.”

A report on the scheme will be considered by the Neighbourhoods Select Committee on 6 January.

Liverpool Waterfront