MALTON and Pickering libraries are taking part in an initiative to help provide IT access to those who need it.

Reboot North Yorkshire is a collaborative project led and coordinated by North Yorkshire County Council which aims to donate unwanted laptops, tablets and smartphones for children who are remote learning and socially isolated adults who would benefit from connecting to family members and friends, particularly those who have been unable to see loved ones during the pandemic.

So far, laptop donations have been received from Yorkshire-based businesses such as the Bettys & Taylors Group and social housing provider Beyond Housing.

People and organisations who want to donate are asked to take their devices to their nearest participating local library where an appropriate drop-off point will be clearly marked.

The devices will then be collected and refurbished by Reboot North Yorkshire, then distributed to those who are most in need of digital equipment.

People who do not have devices to donate but would like to support the initiative, can make a cash contribution to help provide data to those who do not have a reliable broadband connection.

Cllr David Chance, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Stronger Communities is appealing to the public and businesses to get involved: “Donating any unwanted devices in good working order will make a huge difference to people in our communities who may not be fortunate to have sufficient IT access.”

He explained: “Having access to the internet and to IT equipment is something often taken for granted. Digital technology is a valuable resource, yet many people still cannot access the internet, which increases exclusion and decreases access to important services during periods of lockdown.

“Reboot North Yorkshire’s aim is to reduce inequalities by addressing levels of digital exclusion across the area, starting with helping children to continue learning from home.”

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