Support for people who need access to affordable devices and wifi.
Using a computer in the Library
There are free computers to use in Libraries and Community Hubs, along with printing and free Wi-Fi. Visit the Leeds City Council website to see the full list of libraries, the services available, opening hours and contact details.
Equipment gifting schemes
The Tech Ladder is a Social Enterprise in Beeston and Holbeck offering free digital support for anyone in the city, though they especially look to support the communities of South Leeds. The Tech Ladder have new and refurbished smart phones, tablets, laptops and PCs available to gift on an ad hoc, case by case basis. They occasionally have data sim cards and devices with connectivity to gift. Digital skills support is also available. To enquire about current equipment availability and to make a referral call 07864639037
DAWY is a group of volunteers with a background in refurbishing and distributing tech, digital inclusion, education and community development. They collect and refurbish donated digital equipment and donate it to children and families in need. For more information or to make a referral visit their website or call 07756 560193.
Solidaritech refurbish and gift donated digital equipment, gifting to recipients on a ‘greatest need’ basis to Asylum Seekers and Refugees via partners at Asylum Seeker & Refugee organisations. For more information or to find out how to make a referral visit their website or call 01274 288 910.
Tech Angels is a new initiative linking school children with refurbished digital equipment with connectivity. They are looking for donations of old kit from individuals and businesses to be refurbished and gifted.
Referrals for children in need of digital devices are currently only open to organisations that are part of Leeds Community Foundation’s Healthy Holidays scheme but organisations who would like to be able to make referrals should get in touch with Tech Angels.
Support schemes that include loan of equipment and connectivity
Active Leeds and Public Health resources to support people shielding during the Covid-19 pandemic, aimed at CEV groups and people with long term conditions. Resources include a tablet loan scheme, a Zoom activity programme, online peer support groups, and YouTube activities.
LCC Employment and Skills team
Employment and Skills – LCC Jobshops have got a small number of iPads with 4G data that are available to be loaned to customers that are signed up to their work programmes. If you have a service user who is unemployed and looking for work, then they can sign up to the LCC work program, loan an iPad and get dedicated 1-2-1 employability support. To discuss potential referrals contact Peter.Ellington@leeds.gov.uk
Unpaid Carers accessing Leeds Community Healthcare services
As part of Leeds Community Healthcare (LCH) charitable funds, Leeds Community Healthcare have a small number of digital devices with data available to enable the digital inclusion of unpaid carers in Leeds. The digital inclusion project is designed for unpaid carers who either access LCH services for themselves or care for someone who accesses LCH services (or have done so within the last 3 months). Carers Leeds describes an unpaid carer as someone helping a friend or family member due to their illness, disability, mental health issue or a substance misuse problem. If you know of an unpaid carer who would benefit from a tablet or other piece of digital equipment then please get in touch at email@example.com for an application form. Organisations can also get in touch with LCH if they need guidance around which services LCH cover. LCH currently have 20 Samsung tablets with SIM cards available. They also welcome applications to provide more specialist items as required. They anticipate the demand will be high so please contact them as soon as possible as devices will be allocated on a first come, first served basis for all applications that meet the criteria!
The application needs to be made via a staff member at LCH, so if you identify a carer, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance and LCH will then link your service user with the appropriate service. An LCH staff member will then complete the application form and support with the process from there.
Grants schemes that provide equipment to individuals
Family Fund provide grants to families raising a disabled or seriously ill child and in need of support with essential items, including digital equipment. For more information and to apply visit their website or call 01904 550055.
WaveLength is the UK’s leading loneliness charity giving media technology (including phones and laptops) to those most in need. They support people who are lonely because of age, poor physical or mental health, or by circumstances which make it hard for them to leave their home. For more information and to apply visit their website or call 01708 621101.
RNIB offer grants to registered blind or partially sighted people in receipt of benefits for useful technology that can help them live independently, including digital equipment and accessibility software. To apply download the referral form from their website. For more information visit their website or call 0303 123 9999.
Buttle UK can provide financial help to young people aged 16 to 20 who receive no support from their parents or guardians, so that they can further their education or employment. This includes funding for digital technology to support a young person’s studies. For more information and to apply, visit their website.
BT Basic is a low-cost telephone service for people on specific means-tested benefits. It gives people peace of mind by helping them to budget. The monthly line rental only costs £5.16 a month. As well as getting free weekend calls it comes with a call allowance a monthly price cap. If you would like to add broadband to a BT Basic line, the total cost of this is £10.07. If you’re the named account holder, you can get a BT Basic application form by calling 0800 800 864.
Virgin Media Essential Broadband
Virgin Media Essential Broadband, available to those receiving Universal Credit. It comes with a speed of 15 Mbps and a fixed price of £15 per month, with no fixed-term contract length and no price changes while benefit payments are being received.
Vodaphone’s new deal for job seekers gives job seekers Endless Data (+ calls & texts) at £10 a month for six months.