Lambeth community TechAid charity celebrates its first birthday

By Charles Harrison

A charity that recycles donated technology to those who need it is undergoing a name change today to mark its first birthday.

Lambeth TechAid will now be named Community TechAid, to reflect the volunteer-run charity’s focus on reaching diverse communities.

Linda Heidan, an IT training specialist of over 30 years, set up Community TechAid in March 2020 after realising that many community members did not have access to the internet, driving social inequality in South London.

“The lockdown legacy means much of daily life has moved online, and is likely to remain there for the foreseeable future,” said Mrs Heidan.

“Community TechAid aims to ensure more individuals have access to a digital device – whether for job seeking, adult education and apprenticeships, or access to health and wellbeing resources.”

The charity has worked with 70 London based organisations to enable over 500 members of the community to get online, addressing the digital divide by recycling donated computers, tablets and mobile phones.

L-R: Cat Smith (Donations Lead) Jai Maraj, Jim Ottaway, Julia Evans, Linda Heiden (Founder)

“I was dreaming of having a tablet!” said student Ledwin, who received a tablet through the Brixton-based IndoAmerican Refugee and Migrant organisation.

“I am learning so much English by attending classes.”

Lambeth resident Freda (pictured) received a laptop donated through Lambeth Mutual Aid.

“If you don’t have your own computer these days, you’re helpless and reliant on other people,” she said.

“Receiving a laptop has made such a difference to the loneliness and boredom – especially in lockdown.

“Maybe I can help other people now!”

Community Tech Aid are aiming to double the number of devices delivered to new members of the community this year, in response to growing requirements for digital devices.

The charity has worked with organisations such as Age UK, Carers’ Hub, South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation, the Indoamerican Refugee & Migrant Organisation, and local schools.

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