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Ealing councillor Stephen Donnelly and Angela Doreen smiling and sitting at a table with two laptops.

Help to get online

More of the borough’s most disadvantaged residents will be able to get online, learn how to use the internet and gain access to learning, thanks to an Ealing Council scheme.

The council has donated some laptops to Ealing Soup Kitchen, based at St John’s Church, Mattock Lane, to help it provide computer classes to service users.

Tackling digital poverty

As part of a campaign to help those in digital poverty, the council purchased 240 devices in 2022 to donate to unemployed residents to support them in finding work. These were distributed to eligible recipients who were referred to the council by agencies such as Ealing Foodbank Asian Community Concern or other local support services. Twelve months of free data was also given to those who needed it.

The IT classes are run by the council’s adult learning team Learn Ealing from the soup kitchen. The classes are attended by many of those who stop by for warmth, food and company. The additional equipment means more people can be helped to access important digital services.

‘They will make a world of difference’

Angela Doreen, a coordinator at Ealing Soup Kitchen, said: “These laptops will make a world of difference to our clients. The computer classes are very popular, and the students love them. The classes help them to develop skills to get jobs and move on with their lives as well support their mental wellbeing.”

Councillor Steve Donnelly, the council’s cabinet member for an inclusive economy, said: “We are delighted to give these laptops a new home at Ealing Soup Kitchen, where they will be used to support people who have limited or no access to online services. The cost of living is still having a huge impact on people’s finances, and many can’t afford to buy devices to get online.

“As part of our continuous drive for digital inclusion we want to empower local people by providing them with the resources to get online and discover opportunities that will improve their lives.”

Read about another council laptop donation scheme where 1,000 devices were refurbished and donated to the borough’s most disadvantaged residents.

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