New appeal calls for more help in bridging the region’s digital divide

By Anita Jaynes on 20 October, 2020

The Wiltshire Digital Drive – a new not-for-profit organisation that aims to bridge the digital divide by loaning laptops and tablets to schools, charities and community groups in Wiltshire – is appealing for further support after celebrating its first corporate supporter.

The company was born from the success of a laptop recycling initiative that existed during lockdown thanks to Westbury based IT company Priority IT. After recycling unwanted laptops to gift to families for homeschooling it quickly became apparent that community groups and charities have also been forced to change the way they work and that the individuals they work with were also being impacted by lack of access to the internet.

Mogers Drewett, a solicitor’s firm based in Bath, Frome, Sherborne and Wells, recently heard about the new organisation and has become the first company to sign up to its ‘Business Hive.’

Natalie Sherman, Director of Wiltshire Digital Drive, explained, “the financial support pledged by Mogers Drewett will ensure we can refurbish enough laptops to meet the anticipated demand in this first round of applications. It couldn’t have got this far without everyone’s support and generosity, but there’s so much more we can, and want, to do.”

Louise Kelly, Head of Marketing at Mogers Drewett, said, “Normally at Christmas time we like to thank our clients and professional partners for their support during the year with a Christmas drink, but as this is not possible this year Mogers Drewett has decided to use the budget set aside for Christmas celebrations to support those most in need in our community.

“We are really proud to support such an amazing initiative as we know that access to laptops will make a real difference to people’s lives. If 2020 has taught us anything it’s the importance of people and businesses coming together to help and support each other.”

To make sure demand is met there will be two donation drives each year. During this time businesses, and individuals will be invited to donate any unwanted laptops or tablets so they can be refurbished and reused where needed. The company is also appealing for businesses to support the cause financially if they can.

The first round of applications is open now for schools, charities and voluntary organisations until November 6, 2020. The next round opens on January 4, 2021 and the final round of the school year opens on April 19, 2021.

For more information visit the website www.wiltshiredigitaldrive.org and follow on Twitter @WiltsDigiDrive and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/wiltshiredigitaldrive/ 

Pictured above: Mogers Drewett’s Rebecca Silcock, Family Partner and Sean McDonough, Employment Partner outside the firm’s Bath office