Lambeth TechAid came together in March 2020 as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the lockdown came into effect across the UK, many individuals were left without access to the internet. Existing inequalities have been amplified across the country as many everyday tasks and services have become accessible exclusively through online platforms, leaving many members of our community behind. Starting out as a small group of volunteers, LTA has since grown to 25 volunteers and has received upward of 220 devices. We work with local community driven organisations to ensure that these donations reach those who are in the most need.
Lambeth TechAid is proud to have Labour MP for Streatham, Bell Ribeiro-Addy as our Patron. Our work is supported with generosity from the Walcot Foundation, Battersea Power Station Foundation and Lambeth Forum Network.
What We Do
We collect devices people no longer need (principally computers, tablets and mobile phones), remove all data, ensure they are in good working order and deliver them to people in need, identified through local schools, women’s aid groups, disability, refugee and other community organisations. In Lambeth, where in 2016 there were an estimated 87,000 people living in poverty*, Lambeth TechAid can make a real difference. Through charitable donations from neighbours across the borough, we have been able to provide dozens of students and low income households with the devices they need to access the online world.
“Thanks to donations some of our users have been able to face difficult isolation time studying English and taking part to online activities that support their connection with the community and help them to access the support services we provide”
- Indoamerican Refugee and Migrant Organization
Lambeth TechAid’s Management Team is made up of individuals from across the borough who came together with a shared desire to help bridge the digital divide. They include a retired LSE IT training specialist and charity trustee, a Programme Manager, an Operations Manager for a major London museum, numerous IT professionals and a Chartered Account, among others, who are all volunteering in a personal capacity.
The group met for the first time online on 23 March. We now have more than 25 active volunteers organised into 8 teams:
Management: Lead and coordinate the work of the various teams and the organisation as a whole
Donations: Coordinate device donations and assign them to technical team volunteers
Distribution: Respond to and fill requests for devices
Fundraising & Business Liaison: Network and build collaborative relationships with like-minded organisations; seek & pursue funding and donation leads
Publicity: Manage social media and other means to maintain a steady flow of donations and volunteers into TechAid, provide materials for fundraising and website content
Devices Technical: Remove all data from, and update, donated equipment
Volunteer Management & Transport: Ensure new volunteers are trained, inducted and supported; manage collection and delivery of devices
Website & Database: Maintain and further develop our website and database
To date, we’ve had donations of more than 220 devices, with no end to the need in sight. Recipients are identified by local schools, charities and voluntary groups. Students, young people leaving the care system, women identified by women’s aid groups, housing association residents, refugees and families with “No Recourse to Public Funds*’’ all have received devices from us. Many more requests are in the pipeline. Additional requests from other organisations are in the queue, and we believe that there is a considerably wider need for technology and internet access amongst Lambeth’s diverse communities.
We have fulfilled or are considering requests for devices from the following organisations on behalf of households they work with:
Clapham Park Foodbank
Clear Community Web (digital skills for people served by community groups)
Coin Street (neighbourhood support & development organisation)
Cottington Close RMO (Resident Managed Organisation)
Hestia (emergency refuge)
IRMO (Indoamerican Refugee Migrant Organization)
London Cyrenians Housing (supported accommodation)
Mosaic Clubhouse (mental health support and advocacy)
Oasis Hub Waterloo (community development)
People First (self advocacy)
Sister System (support young women who are Looked After Children or Care Leavers)
SLAM (mental health)
South London Cares (supporting seniors suffering social isolation)
WLM St Luke’s Neighbourhood Hub
In order to respond to as broad a range of requests as possible, we ask that organisations limit each request to no more than 5 devices in total. Following delivery of these, the requesting organisation is then welcome to submit another request for up to 5 more devices. There is no limit to the number of requests they can submit but we ask that they wait for an outstanding request to be filled before submitting a further request.
*No recourse to public funds (NRPF) is a term used for people who are subject to immigration control and have no entitlement to welfare benefits, to home office asylum support for asylum seekers or to public housing. They include families with young children and vulnerable young people with nowhere to turn.
How can you get involved?
Join our volunteer team by completing this form, and we’ll be in touch soon!
If you have a device to donate, please fill in one of our donation forms here. You can drop it at one of our drop off locations, listed below, or we can arrange to collect your device from you.
Brixton Community Base
Talma Rd, Brixton, London SW2 1AS (please use the doorbell on our sign on the front door)
Monday-Wednesday 12:00 noon - 5:30pm
Saturday 12:00 noon - 4:30pm
Batch & Co Coffee
54 Streatham Hill, Streatham, London SW2 4RD
Monday - Saturday
Mobile 2 Buy
354 Norwood Rd, Norwood, London SE27 9AA
Monday - Saturday 9:00 - 20:00