Local area board helps bridge the digital divide

The digital divide in the Corsham area is being reduced thanks to funding from the local area board.

£5,000 has been granted by Corsham Area Board to the Community Interest Company (CIC), Wiltshire Digital Drive, to help it refurbish more laptops and tablets, and distribute them back into the local community.

One in five schools (primary & secondary) in Wiltshire have been helped since October 2020, including Neston Primary School in Corsham and Marden Vale CE Academy.

By refurbishing unwanted laptops, tablets and desktops, not only could these students carry on their learning, but community groups could get online and fewer people were left feeling isolated. More than 90 of the 860 school children and families helped to date were in Corsham and surrounding areas.

Natalie Sherman, co-director of Wiltshire Digital Drive, said: “This funding will help us to refurbish more devices and get them out to individuals that need them most. Some areas of North Wiltshire are quite rural and remote and the local charities won’t be as big as those in the main towns or city, or necessarily have heard of the work we’re doing. We’re encouraging them to get in touch and apply for these devices to help their communities.”

It’s not just the generous donations of money that have helped. Local companies and organisations such as Old Mill Accountants and Curo Homes have been donating their old devices to be refurbished and redistributed.

Kieran Thomas, co-director of Wiltshire Digital Drive, said: “We’ve had a great response from the community in the area. So many laptops have been donated by individuals and Naturally Social in Corsham and Aster Housing in Devizes have been acting as a collection point for local donations. Without everyone’s generosity, none of this would be possible.”

Schools, organisations and charities can apply for laptops here. This is also where people, and companies, will find information on how to donate.

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