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A family in need, we can help indeed!

We've been honoured today to meet with Deb from the Chase Lighthouse project, who's co-ordinated with a desperate family and given us the opportunity to take some of the load away from their shoulders when their only internet device got broken. We've donated a jazzy laptop to the family to allow them to get back online :)

8 months in!

Your kind donations of unwanted equipment and help with our running costs and parts costs (and coffee) have allowed us to repurpose 263 laptops, tablets, and desktop PC's back in to the community where they are needed most, in only 8 months! And that's still not counting the number of peripherals including printers, routers, monitors, webcams and headsets, and all their connecting cables which you've given us to include, plus the days we've spent installing network infrastructure in community buildings to provide the connectivity those end users need 🙂

Two centres of attention!

Another productive day for our tech guys yesterday. Neil and Jack spent the day at two sites working on ongoing projects. Our time lapse camera let us down a bit so here's what happened...
- Continued installing cabling at Holmcroft YCC. We now have 3 brand new internet ports and a beefy wi-fi extender fitted and working in the building. We traced and reconnected another 3 existing network points in the cafe and tidied up all the wiring running in to the shop area. We also completed an extra run of cable into the games room to feed another wi-fi booster and wall point, and finally we returned a laptop for visitors which we'd fully refurbished and PAT tested over the last week.
- Installed new cabling at Spark Childrens' Centre, to feed a wi-fi extender in their kitchen area which will now allow staff and parents to use the internet at the furthest point of their garden. We also upgraded one of their PC's to a twin monitor arrangement to better suit their needs and allow them to use a projector to play presentations and cartoons.
We do all this for free for the benefit of the community, to reduce e-waste and fill the digital divide. If you can help us along with some of the costs for the bits and bobs we use on these projects we'd really appreciate it 🙂
If you like what we're doing please prevent us from ever resting by buying us a shot of caffeine at ko-fi.com/freeitstafford

A flying start!

Our Jack met with Tom from Rugeley 1871 Air Cadets today, at our donation point in Highfields, to hand over a few items to get their group off to a flying (pun) start running their new cadet registration system

Capitalising at Capula!

Huge thank you to Capula at Stone, who donated us a stack of their surplus equipment 🙂
We're keen to work with local businesses who are upgrading their I.T. provisions and who are looking for a good cause (us) to reuse their unwanted devices!

Answering prayers!

As part of our plan for our future, we're not only aiming to help out with refurbished kit, we're also planning some bigger and longer term projects delivering the connectivity behind it all (for free!).
We can tell you about a project we are currently working on which we've not said too much about, but which may forge our chances of achieving ongoing funding.
This is taking place at Holmcroft Youth & Community Centre and yesterday Jack and Neil spent a long day on site making headway.
Not only are we refurbishing every single PC and laptop that they own, and providing a few extra, we're also modernising their entire I.T. infrastructure to give their clients and visitors the best experience.
Here's what we're doing:
- 2TB on-site quad core file server/network storage
- 16 port switch to give us capacity to add.........
- 5 extra wired network points around the building
- 3 extra Wi-Fi access points
- Removing all the components that are "hanging off the side" and creating a proper network plan and wiring diagrams
This is a full overhaul of their entire network and digital storage solutions, and we'll finish up by liaising with their internet provider and carefully checking all of the security settings and options to keep visitors safe while they browse the internet.
Centre manager Dave has described us as a "prayer that's been answered", and we estimate that by simply using these parts which you lovely people have donated (we don't just take PC's and laptops, we accept network bits too) and the skills of our tech guys for free, we will ultimately save the charity around £10,000 which they would have had to find.
Yesterday was a bit of a rush, we'd a lot to do before the centre opens to groups next week, but we'll be working on this for a few weeks, and will be back there again very soon and get some photos of the work we've done to show you all 🙂
We couldn't do any of this without your kind donations of equipment, but as we don't yet have firm grant funding, we also really depend on your financial help for the daily consumable bits and bobs that we use 🙂

A huge step!

There is much much excitement at Free IT headquarters today !!
Not only have we just delivered our 250th device, we've also today been informed that after jumping through several hoops, producing in-depth projections out of thin air, and after an excruciating wait, we have FINALLY been accepted for a proper bank account! This will open huge doors to funding for us, and eventually an actual registered charity number! This is a massive step for the project!
Our 250th device, donated by one of you lovely people and fixed up for free by our team of tech guys, is now in the hands of the admin team at Staffordshire Baby Bank

Our products on parade!

We've installed an Intel i5 tower system at the 12th Mohawk scout group in Berkswich. Donated by one of you lovely people and fitted with some new parts to bring it up to date, it now takes pride of place in their group hut!

Double duties!

We popped in to Staffordshire Baby Bank today, to drop off an all-in-one desktop PC, which was donated by one of you lovely people, fixed up for free by our team of tech guys, and which will now start its new life propelling their team along with their administration work. We've also dropped a snazzy Android tablet PC in to Childhood Cancer Parents' Alliance, which they can now forward on to a young person who desperately needed it

Homing in on the digital divide!

It's been great to meet again with the employment coach team from Wolverhampton Homes. We've been able to offer some more equipment to get their isolated tenants online! We met with Pippa from the team, who said "Thanks again guys both laptops are going to Wolverhampton Homes tenants and they'll be using them to get back into employment."

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