February 02, 2021 10:53 AM


Digital poverty is affecting our children and young people across Barnet. The pandemic has really highlighted the need for all children to access the internet and have their own working device to complete schoolwork and attend live lessons. Digital poverty means having no access to online education because there is no device or internet connection in the family home. With continuing uncertainty around when schools will reopen, all have switched to online tuition – yet children in low-income households often lack the essential tools needed to take part. This pandemic widens that gap daily as some children still have access to learning, and some do not; this is why it is so important to get all our children online. We support the government's aim to provide technology to underprivileged children, but there are currently children without access and hardware; we can change this by working together to #leavenochildbehind. 


In January 2021, we supported Whitefields School in NW2 by delivering dongles and data sims to get 37 children back online and able to access their live-streamed lessons. We have also responded to 3 other student requests from a local school and college. We have also supplied Barnet Refugee Service with 10 24GBs of data to enable their young people to access online English as a second language course. Ensuring our children and young people have continuous access to their education is changing lives. Previously we have raised £2000 through a crowdfunding page (£1644 online and £356 in offline donations). Additionally, with amazing in-kind support from 3Mobile, we have raised an incredible £10,000. 



This is just the start; we need laptops, tablets, smartphones, and connectivity in the form of dongles and data sims. 



How can you help? 

We want to hear from everybody, individuals, businesses, and organisations. 

  • Do you have an old laptop, tablet, or smartphone at home? We can recycle and upgrade them and get them to the children and young people that need them. 
  • Can you donate? We will use your donation to buy dongles and WIFI and replace the power cables where needed. 
  • Can you put a call out to your street for equipment to your friends, your workplace, your place of worship, your street? That would be amazing. 
  • Vodafone has announced new mobile broadband deals that come with free Acer laptops. You could donate either this new laptop or your old one to a young person in Barnet. 

Receiving a laptop with associated support that accompanies it will make a huge, life-changing difference for our young people, and we are grateful for any support you can offer. 



What we need

  • Laptops, don't forget to include the power pack (plug) ideally not older than 7 years. 
  • Tablets 
  • Mouse
  • Donations - any amount, large or small, will make a difference. You can donate here - http://bit.ly/EndDigitalPovertyBarnet
  • Amazon Wish List - Find out what we need here - https://amzn.eu/2fdEN0


What will we do with your donated laptops?

We are working with our trusted partner, 4Ways Solutions, to clean down all the laptops, refurbish, load the operating system, and thoroughly test. Working closely with schools, these laptops will then be redistributed to children and young people in Barnet. Unless erased by you, we will ensure all of your business or personal data is securely erased for free.

Please note 4Ways will ensure all data is destroyed to both UK Government and CESG/MOD standards; this includes software wiping, hard drive shredding, hard drive disintegration, hard drive disposals, and hard drive data destruction. They use the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) and NHS-approved SyOP 7.13 methods to physically destroy data. We are both fully Data Protection Act (DPA) and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) compliance. 

Once the data has been erased and the laptop refurbished, we will make sure the computers go to the schools and families that need them most. And you can be assured that your generous donation will go directly to helping the children in Barnet schools. You can find some really useful information on The National Cyber Security Centre


What will we do with your financial donation? 

We will use financial donations to buy power cables, replace broken screens, essential items like a mouse or a keyboard. All labour has kindly been donated free of any charge by 4way Solutions, 


How to get your devices to us

You can drop your devices off at our secure location, The Flower Bank, 45 Leicester Rd, New Barnet, EN5 5EW. They are available Monday to Friday from 2-5 for drop-off. To observe social distancing rules, you can knock and drop them at the door. You can call them on 020 8364 9444. If it is not possible to drop them at the Flower Bank, please email us, and we will arrange to pick your devices up in a COVID secure way. Please email helen.harte@communitybarnet.org.uk or use our contact form here


Become a partner or an official drop off point

If you would like to get more involved, please contact us here. 


Are you a Barnet School that needs help? 

Find out more about this scheme here.


Are you a Barnet resident that needs a device or WIFI access? 

Contact us and let us know your current situation, email us here


Together we can fix this; let's end digital poverty in Barnet.