OVER 40 households donated hundreds of unwanted tech devices at a charitable collection in Ilkley.

The devices will be wiped and redistributed to those who will benefit from digital access.

Climate Action Ilkley coordinated the collection with a team of six volunteers, hosted by Booths supermarket on June 27.

Despite the rain, donors came from across the district to handover 222 devices including: over 40 mobile phones; five tablets; 26 laptops; four PCs and monitors;11 printers; an Xbox; a Wii and other sundry items, plus tens of unused printer cartridges.

The donations were all delivered to Digital Access West Yorkshire (DAWY), for redistribution by them and their Bradford-based partners Solidaritech.

Ben McKenna - one of their founders and technical specialists -said: “This is a fantastic effort from the people of Ilkley and Wharfedale, and it will be hugely appreciated by the children these devices go to. Our first job is to get all of the machines securely data-wiped and from there we’ll be able to get them straight into the hands of children struggling to keep up with their schoolwork during the lockdown. Endeavours such as this will help us reduce the widening of the digital divide.” Meanwhile the Xbox and Wii machines and games will be donated to a youth club.

Climate Action Ilkley is keen to continue to work together with Digital Access West Yorkshire and Solidaritech, as long as the urgent demand requires, and have already collected a further 10 devices. Residents and businesses wishing to donate can contact Digital Action West Yorkshire directly, donate at their regular drop-off point at Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds every Saturday and Sunday between 11am and noon, or donate via Climate Action Ilkley by emailing climateactionilkley@gmail.com and arranging a drop-off or collection. Requested devices (ideally with charging cables) include smart phones, tablets, laptops, phone chargers, printers in working order, gaming machines plus any unused printer cartridges. Any item donated must be owned and needs to be new enough to run a basic browser and/or a basic office suite without too many problems.

For devices such as mobiles and tablets, donors are asked to ideally reset them to factory settings, to save time and ensure access by the tech teams. The websites https://accesswy.org/ and https://solidaritech.com/ both provide guidelines of how to wipe machines.

However, machines can also be donated as they are, safe in the knowledge that a computer specialist will wipe the machine’s data at the earliest possible point and reset it to its original factory settings. No personal data will remain on any devices that are distributed.

If you don’t have a device to give, you can still give to DAWY’s “Go Fund Me” campaign, to enable them to continue their work: https://accesswy.org/can-you-support-our-gofundme-campaign/.