With the pandemic shining a light on the homelessness, poverty and social inequality crisis, charity Aspire Oxford an IT company Blue Planet IT have teamed-up to provide some practical help.
Aspire Oxford is a charity whose mission is to empower people facing homelessness, poverty and disadvantaged to find employment and change their lives.
Blue Planet IT were approached by Aspire to collaborate on a project that would enable Aspire's service beneficiaries to easily and safely access online resources, even with limited experience of technology.
A Combination of Technologies
This was achieved using a combination of technologies from Microsoft Azure, Intune, SharePoint, Teams, WatchGuard, and SafeWatch, a bespoke web traffic monitoring and reporting system by Blue Planet IT. With a Single Sign-On experience, Aspire's beneficiaries were provided with safeguarded internet access and a digital platform to succeed.
John Dennis, IT Manager for Aspire Oxford, said this following the project launch:
"We're very happy with the work that Blue Planet have done on this project to date and we've had no issues reported by the test users. If only all IT projects were as pain-free as this one!".
Tech Equipment Donations Around the UK
You can find out more about the work that Aspire Oxfordshire are doing on their website here: https://www.aspireoxfordshire.org/. There's also an opportunity to make a donation (click on the button, top right).
There are, thankfully, many other examples of generosity around the UK that could make a real difference. Some in the news just recently include:
- Earlier this month, Leicester-based homeless charity, The Bridge Homelessness to Hope, received a donation of IT equipment from University Hospitals Leicester. It is hoped that this will give the charity’s service users access to technology that could help them to learn new skills, gain qualifications, or even seek employment.
- Back in March, old computer hardware from St John’s College in Cambridge was recycled to help support families and children in need during the pandemic. The hardware had been donated in January the previous year to Emmaus Cambridge, which is a charity supporting people to work their way out of homelessness. The hardware donations included almost 100 desktop computers.
- In May this year, Nottingham Trent University donated 10 recycled laptops to Nottingham City Homes (NCH) which will go to hostels run by NCH and to other temporary accommodation homes for homeless children to use.
Many companies and charities have been working together and looking to give back to society or make positive changes in society through their own direct action and initiatives. If you’d like to donate your old technology, examples of tech hardware donation schemes online include:
Donate your old computers to the Turing Trust: https://turingtrust.co.uk/give-computers/
Business2Schools are seeking equipment from businesses that would like to donate their tech or office furniture to schools across the UK - https://www.business2schools.com/donate
Computeraid – see: https://www.computeraid.org/
Restore – helps with the donation of laptops to underprivileged school children and young adults across the UK: https://www.restore.co.uk/Technology/About-Us/Community-Support.