Get everyone online

What is the Get Everyone Online (GEO) project?

Back in 2020 the Library of Things had to close temporarily due to the pandemic, but the elves still wanted to use their time wisely. We partnered with local organisation Nudge Community Builders to bring upcycled tech to people who we experiencing digital exclusion in Plymouth. We collected unused and dusty laptops, smartphones, and tablets from kind people in and around the City, refurbished and repaired them, and through help from local orgnisations, distributed them back out to those in need! 

Since then, BDB has continued collecting donated devices, and with small grants, have been able to fulfill our waiting list, and new requests, whilst also becoming part of and working with the Plymouth Digital Inclusion Network members. Looking to the future, we are hoping to secure longer-term support in order to keep getting everyone online, so keep your eyes open for updates! To find out how you can get involved visit the GEO website HERE.


Our repair team (which consists of some of the same people that used to volunteer at Borrow Don’t Buy’s past 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, it is packaged up in nice new packaging and is distributed to people in need of online access.

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 low-income areas – 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!

This project has been ongoing for almost 3 years with some 300 plus devices being repurposed and has already helped many families and individuals in one of the city’s most deprived areas. But Borrow Don’t Buy isn’t going to stop now!

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