Digital Equipment Needed!

July 2023

Sourcing digital equipment is critical in mitigating digital exclusion for our clients. Digital exclusion is a pressing issue for the homeless community as it denies them the key tools that most take for granted, such as access to information, education, employment, health and social services. By receiving digital items such as phones, laptops, tablets or internet vouchers, the public can support those who are homeless to overcome some of the barriers and challenges they face in their daily lives and to increase their social inclusion.

As services such as health and jobcentres increasingly move online, it becomes even more difficult for our community to access the vital services they need to move out of homelessness.

That’s why we’re asking for donations of your old but working laptops and tablets.

With your donated tablet or laptop, our clients can access vital healthcare and benefit services, apply for jobs and accommodation, take online educational and recovery courses, and maintain the contact with family and friends that’s so important to mental health and wellbeing. Without digital access, all these things become increasingly harder to achieve.

What we need:

  • Laptops & Tablets
  • In working order
  • With their power cable
  • No older than 4 years
  • With their hard drive wiped
  • And a factory reset applied
  • New unused smartphones or mobile phones

How do we support clients?

We have weekly digital skills drop-in sessions at St Clare’s Community Hub in Worthing and at Roffey Place in Horsham that are open to all Turning Tides clients as well as other one off support.  There are laptops and tablets for people to use at the sessions and clients are supported to set up a device they’ve received through the Digital Inclusion service.

Who will your digital equipment help?

“This is a lifeline”

Jane* first asked for support from Turning Tides in 2018 when she arrived at the night shelter.  She has mental and physical health problems and was supported to claim disability benefits and register on the housing list. Last year she received a laptop from our Digital Inclusion service:  “It’s great, I use the laptop to do online banking, for video calls with my son, access my Universal Credit journal and buy essential things for my new flat.  It’s big enough to watch films on and my son plays games on it.  This laptop is a lifeline.”

“Staying connected”

David* was struggling to pay his rent in Horsham, and at risk of becoming homeless again.  With no online access or bank account, P received vouchers from Universal Credit that had to be cashed at a Post Office and he was finding this difficult to manage. Thanks to the donation from a local company to our Digital Inclusion service, David* was gifted a new smartphone to enable him to begin managing his finances online.  He was supported to open an online bank account, improving his digital skills and learning to manage his personal finances independently.  The gift of a digital device along with digital skills and confidence support, enabled David* to sustain his tenancy in his move towards personal independence.

What we need you to do before donating laptops and tablets:

Equipment should preferably be no more than 4 years old.

Please ensure your donated laptop or tablet:

  • has had a factory reset applied
  • has had the hard drive wiped
  • is in working order

There is an informative Which guide which explains how to wipe the hard drive and do a factory reset, or you can check the manufacturers web site for guidance.  It is important to do this before donating your equipment to ensure that your personal data is protected.

Where to take laptops, tablets and smartphones:

Turning Tides Donations Unit, Unit 1, Thesiger Close, Worthing BN11 2RN

Open: Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 9am-12.30pm

Phone: 01903 680740 Ext. 248


*Names changed to protect identities