Andy Tran

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Get everyone online

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What have we been up to?

Borrow Don’t Buy, Plymouths Library of Things has been shut down over the Covid-19 period but has continued to push the sharing agenda in other ways by partnering up with local community builders Nudge to bring upcycled tech to people who really need it in Plymouth. For the last two months Plymouth community helpers have been collecting up unused and dusty laptops, smartphones, and tablets from kind people around Plymouth and delivering them to the fixer elves at Borrow Don’t Buy so they can be given a new lease of life. Wendy Hart from Nudge contacted Borrow Don’t Buy to ask if they could help them to help the people of Plymouth and the answer, was yes!

The repair team (which consists of some of the same people that help out at Borrow Don’t Buys repair cafes) spend hours ensuring each piece of technology is thoroughly inspected and cleaned (physically and digitally), upgraded, (using second-hand parts where possible) before having all new software installed. When the team is satisfied that the item is in good working order and it has been safety tested, the community helpers collect it back up and work with Nudge Community Builders to find local Plymouth families that are struggling in the new online world of physical distance, lockdown and home education.

According to a recent report, 78% of people said contacting people via digital tech online was a key factor in coping during the COVID-19 crisis. Yet digital inequality is rife in poorer parts of society – we had reports of families who were trying to home educate with only one smartphone between three children. Marsha de Cordova, shadow secretary of state for women and equalities, recently called for the government to take action to reduce the inequality of provisions in phone and Internet service during the crisis. And we agree, but here at Borrow Don’t Buy we believe in a sharing economy, in community, and in kindness. Which is why we’re running this fantastic project!

 hereThis process has been going on for two months with some 30 or more devices being repurposed and has already helped a number of families and individuals in one of the city’s most deprived areas. But Borrow Don’t Buy isn’t going to stop now! The plan is to partner with other organisations and extend the scheme across the city, helping even more isolated and struggling households feel a bit more connected with the outside world.

If you would like to support this project, please use our donation button or click here to find out more. Thanks!

Borrow Don't Buy Plymouth