Picture of Director, Natalie Luckham

An update from Wiltshire Digital Drive.

2023 has been a difficult year for so many of us. In business, we continue to feel the impact of the pandemic and the economic climate that has followed. As a result of much of this, we are feeling the impact in the non-profit and charitable sectors. The way people are giving has changed and the ways in which we’re asking for support is changing with it.

For WDD the focus has been making sure we continue to get laptops and computers to those in need. Between February and July this year, we underwent a direct outreach campaign and connected 642 laptops to children starting Secondary school and families who had fled the war in Ukraine.

Here’s an update on where we are now:

In September we said goodbye to our project assistant, Ben. Ben joined the team under the government’s Kickstart scheme. Fast forward two years and it was time for him to take the next step in his career journey. Ben leaves with the warmest of wishes for success and a sense of pride in the opportunities we have been able to provide.  I’m thankful for all the effort he put into our mission.

My co-director Kieran stepped back in the summer too. With Priority IT growing it was the right time for Kieran to concentrate on other projects and I know he’s incredibly proud of what he and his team have been able to contribute over the years. It goes without saying that I’m grateful to Kieran for his generosity and knowledge in the tech space and for the invitation to join him as a director when we discussed the idea of turning a successful campaign into a company.

There has been a transition period since Kieran stepped back but things are settling into the new way of working. Here’s a summary:

  • I have moved our main operations to a new office in Melksham,
  • Our Donation Stations continue to support us week in and week out and we are actively seeking new ones,
  • We’ve recruited new volunteers to help pick up and deliver devices,
  • We’re establishing new partnerships to help us scale in 2024 and ensure even more tech can contribute to the circular economy,
  • We have a new Director on board and we are actively looking for more support staff (please see below!),
  • We are fast approaching 3,000 devices distributed.

What’s next for us?

Donations:

The need for second-hand devices has never been greater. I’d like to thank all of the businesses and individuals who have donated to us so far. If you’re a business with laptops and tablets that are no longer needed and you are looking at your ESG and CSR programmes, I’d welcome a conversation about how you can support us in reducing the digital divide in our community.

Applications:

We continue to process applications but the demand currently outweighs supply. We are working hard to generate more devices and will respond to requests as quickly as possible.

Opportunities:

We are always keen to hear from volunteers who can support us in a variety of roles.  Whether you have experience in IT and tech restoration, app development, admin or databases please get in touch.  

We are also recruiting for support and development staff and have part-time roles available. Please email info@wiltshiredigitaldrive.org if you would like more information.

Please follow us on social media to keep updated on our progress and see the impact we’re making.

My sincere thanks.

Natalie Luckham,

Director

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