Staying connected during the Coronavirus outbreak

People Know How have partnered up with Venture Scotland, Change Recruitment Group, the Taranata Group, Edinburgh Palette, the University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Remakery to get computers and internet connection to those who need them during the current coronavirus outbreak.

#StayHome

Over the last few weeks the Coronavirus outbreak has changed lives across the globe. Here in Scotland we are in lockdown, having been advised to enforce social distancing and stay at home to protect the NHS and the lives of those around us. As a result People Know How staff have been working from home, adapting their services to continue their support of children, young people and adults in Edinburgh and East Lothian.

Donation and collaboration

People Know How’s Chief Executive Glenn Liddell received a generous donation of 12 computers from the University of Edinburgh. The first step after any device donation is to get the computers wiped, refurbished and rebuilt. This is where Edinburgh Remakery came to the rescue, lending us a hand by refurbishing each device.

At this point the staff at People Know How were hard at work adapting their services to the new situation. It soon became clear that their one-to-one and group support for children, young people and adults would move towards online and telephone support. The importance of computers suddenly grew tenfold, with devices needed by many of their existing and prospective service users experiencing social isolation, worsened by the current crisis.

Luckily Change Recruitment Group, part of the Taranata Group who had collaborated with People Know How during their Connect Four event, became the second organisation to gift People Know How devices. They donated a whopping 79 computers, and Venture Scotland transported them from George Street down to their offices on Ferry Road. At 525 Ferry Road Edinburgh Palette welcomed the organisations with open arms, offering the use of the building and its spacious open plan areas as a computer refurbishing base.

With this large donation, they realised they would need more support to refurbish the computers. In addition to People Know How’s two coronavirus-adapted befriending positions, they also created an IT Support Volunteer position, providing phone support to aid service users remotely to set up their new computers.

What’s next?

With a total of 91 computers donated so far, and People Know How’s doors open to further donations, this group of organisations are now in the process of refurbishing the computers for distribution to those in need. With Venture Scotland ready to deliver the computers to doorsteps, they’re identifying members of the community who will most benefit from what they can offer.

Learn how you can become an IT Support Volunteer by clicking here.  Or contact People Know How to refer a community member who could benefit from a computer at [email protected] or phone 0131 569 0525.