Community TechAid (CTA) is a grassroots south London charity bridging the digital divide by providing technology to those without. CTA recycles computers, tablets and mobile phones donated by individuals and businesses, and distributes them throughout the community. Started in response to the first COVID lockdown in March 2020, the charity has grown from a volunteer run organisation to one now employing 4 staff members. To date the charity has worked with over 150 south London based organisations to enable over 850 members of the local community to get online. Referrals come from primary and secondary schools, Age UK, Central Southwark Community Hub, Kings College Hospital, refugee centres and refuges, amongst others.
The Alleyn’s Parents’ Association (APA) selected CTA as a beneficiary of their recent school raffle in recognition of the charity’s transformative work since the beginning of the pandemic. The APA’s outgoing co-chair, Sarah McCourt, explained, “The APA always seeks to support our local community, and was very impressed by CTA’s contribution to bridging the digital divide across countless south London schools and community organisations.” Co-chair Shannon Fairchild continued, “CTA’s green ethos also closely aligns with the school community’s sustainability goals, as any unusable digital donations are ethically recycled.”
CTA Founder Linda Heiden thanked the APA for their generous £1500 donation, “We are delighted for this recognition of our work. The generosity and support of community facing organisations such as the APA is key to our charity’s growth, and enables us to deepen and widen our reach within the local community. The school’s donation has already been earmarked to help us deliver a further 20 laptops by providing new batteries.”
Cat Smith, CTA Chief Operating Officer, summarised, “The lockdown legacy means much of daily life has moved online, widening the digital divide and deepening inequalities. CTA aims to meet this ongoing need for digital access in the community whether that be for schooling, job seeking, adult education, or health and wellbeing resources.”
For more information, or to donate your device to Community TechAid, visit our website: www.communitytechaid.org.uk