The Problem

The scale of the crisis created by Covid 19 has laid bare needs across society. For many of us the internet performs a basic function, allowing us to access information and communicate with each other.

Access to technology and digital skills are not just important in themselves, they are increasingly important for how we navigate the modern world. The effect of home-schooling has been overwhelming on children and young people during the lockdown, and we know that social connectivity can help them to maintain friendships and belonging throughout this time of isolation. Help us to support children and families across the region by addressing inequalities and a digital divide, making sure that more people can connect during this difficult time.

This is especially so with schools suspended, and people isolating.

What We’re Doing to Help

We’re trying to bridge this gap and are working with community groups and teachers to make sure we can support in the best possible and quickest way. In the first instance we’re appealing to those with spare machines and asking if they can donate them to children and families in need.

Can You Help?

We’re looking for machines that are relatively new. They don’t need to be particularly new or high-powered, but they will need to be able to run a basic browser and/or a basic office suite without too many problems.

Also, if you’re an IT manager who has unused kit then we would love to help.

Who We Are…So Far

We’re a group with a range of experience across the cultural and education sectors, specialising in culture and engagement, the role of play and digital access. We’re joined by a commitment to just do whatever small bit we can, and a sense that digital access is both useful in itself, but also its connection to other capabilities (online services, connecting with others etc).

Emma Bearman
Emma Bearman
Emma is a creative producer, convener and dot connector. Director of Playful Anywhere CIC, developed 3 Shipping Container Playboxes, a city centre Playlab, and runs events, workshops and festivals with all ages from cardboard to code. Emma is a champion of digital and social inclusion.
Alistair Brown
Alistair Brown
Al is a former director of FixIT Leeds Co-op, a computer re-use/repair social enterprise, and current organiser of Leeds Repair Café.
Sev Double
Sev Double
I have a small business mainly repairing computers, but offering the full gamut of services to do with computers. If you can think of it, I offer it! I have also worked in a couple of computer retail shops, building and repairing computers for over 5 years. I also have a degree in computers, specialising in networking.
Claire Garside
Claire Garside
Claire is a postgraduate researcher at the School of Education, Leeds University and a co-founder of the Foundation for Digital Creativity, removing barriers to learning to help everyone to bring about social good through education programmes. Claire also organises Leeds Raspberry Jam.
Ben McKenna
Ben McKenna
Ben runs Solidaritech, a Social Enterprise that helps people get access to technology, providing refurbished technology to Asylum Seekers and Refugees. Ben is also a designer and developer, running Totaal for the last decade.
Gael Timbers
Gael Timbers
Gael is the founder of Creative Calverley a community and social action organisation based in Leeds. Gael has over 20 years experience in the adult learning sector and participates in research projects and national initiatives, particularly relating to Family Learning as well as Adult Literacy.
Jack Simpson
Jack Simpson
Jack is a PhD researcher in the University of Leeds politics dept, and works across culture, co founding Hyde Park Book Club, Eiger Studios, The State of The Arts and previously working on the board at Left Bank Leeds & the engagement group of Leeds 2023.