Help getting online – Around Ealing

More of the borough’s most disadvantaged residents will be able to go online, learn how to use the internet and access learning, thanks to a scheme by Ealing Council.

The council has donated some laptops to Ealing Soup Kitchen, based at St John’s Church, Mattock Lane, to help it deliver computer training to service users.

Combating digital poverty

As part of a campaign to help those in digital poverty, the council purchased 240 devices in 2022 to donate to unemployed residents to support them in finding work. These were distributed to eligible recipients who were referred to the council by agencies such as Ealing Foodbank Asian Community Concern or other local support services. Twelve months of free data was also offered to those who needed it, but a small number went unclaimed, so the council donated them to the soup.

The IT courses are run by Learn Ealing Council’s adult learning team at Soup. The classes are attended by many who stop by for warmth, food and company. The extra equipment means more people can be helped to access important digital services.

“They will make a world of difference”

Angela Doreen, co-ordinator at Ealing Soup Kitchen, said: “These laptops will make a world of difference to our customers. Computer science courses are very popular and students love them. The courses help them develop skills to get a job and get on with life, as well as supporting their mental well-being.”

Councilor Steve Donnelly, cabinet member for an inclusive economy, said: “We are delighted to be giving these laptops a new home at Ealing Soup Kitchen where they will be used to support people who have limited or no access to services online. The cost of living still has a huge impact on people’s finances and many cannot afford to buy devices to go online.

“As part of our ongoing efforts for digital inclusion, we want to empower local people by giving them the resources to get online and discover opportunities that will improve their lives.”

Read about another council laptop donation scheme where 1,000 devices were refurbished and donated to the borough’s most disadvantaged residents.

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