People Know How

Delivering their 500th device
People Know How have delivered their 500th device as part of their Computer Delivery project.

Digital exclusion
The Scottish charity People Know How began Computer Delivery when lockdown began, refurbishing donated devices and delivering them to people in Edinburgh and East Lothian experiencing digital exclusion, in partnership with Venture Scotland. The project grew popular quickly, demonstrating the effect that lockdown has had in revealing the prevalence of digital exclusion in our communities.
Thanks to donations and the support of their volunteers, they have been able to deliver 500 devices, and are on track to deliver 1,000 by the end of the year. To mark this special occasion, they invited Ben Macpherson, MSP for Edinburgh Northern & Leith, to make the delivery to one of his constituents.

Meeting the Digital Champions
First stop was 525 Ferry Road as Ben Macpherson stopped by to meet the Digital Champions outside People Know How’s main office. Digital Champions volunteer their time to refurbish and deliver donated devices and provide follow-up phone calls for device set-up and support. Some also take part in People Know How’s operation of the Connecting Scotland national helpline, offering phone support for people across the country who have received a device from Connecting Scotland. Ben Macpherson discussed the projects with Digital Champions Paul and Ruairidh, alongside project coordinator Nigel and Venture Scotland’s CEO David.

The delivery
After coming by the office building, Nigel met Ben Macpherson in Leith, where Mark, the 500th recipient, awaited his delivery of a laptop and keyboard. With the parcel safely in hand, Mark and Ben Macpherson discussed what life had been like under lockdown in this constituency, including finding access to hot meals in the local area. Mark also mentioned he was excited to open his new device to play games and most importantly to video call friends and family abroad.

Ben Macpherson commented, “It’s remarkable that People Know How have delivered 500 devices and it’s great to see the work actively reaching people in the community. I’m very grateful to everyone involved for all they’ve done to help and empower so many people in these challenging times.”

Looking towards the 1,000th delivery
Now that they’ve delivered their 500th device it’s onto People Know How’s next goal of delivering 1,000 devices. After a large donation from HSBC they now have the number of devices they need to meet this next milestone and they can’t wait to keep refurbishing, delivering and providing support in the community.
People Know How would like to thank those who have donated, funded and made this project possible, including individuals and organisations such as Good Things Foundation, National Lottery, University of Edinburgh, HSBC, Change Recruitment Group, Venture Scotland, Inverclyde Community Development Trust, Parabola, The Clothworkers’ Foundation, Scran Academy, Edinburgh Remakery and the Cordis Trust.

To find out more or to get involved please visit

Claudia Baldacchino
Graphic Designer & Communications Officer, People Know How

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.


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.