Modelled on Guildford Bike Project, the basic idea is that the project will receive donations of unwanted computers from organisations and the general public and, using volunteers, teach jobseekers to refurbish them. It will sell the refurbished computers to members of the local community for an affordable price. Again, the intention is to create and grow a financially self-sustaining enterprise.
As with our other social enterprise projects, the Guildford Computer Project recognises that work is central to people’s lives, providing structure, social inclusion and financial benefit. However, for many disabled or disadvantaged people, it is hard to get opportunities and work experience. This project will provide work experience, employment training and job clubs to move disabled people into, or at least closer, to jobs.
The project has started and is currently operating out of the Bike Project’s offices at Woking Road Depot. It has recruited a part-time manager using grant funding from Guildford Philanthropy and has engaged three voluntary work experience trainees (referred by the local Job Centre). The project recently received a donation of over 200 laptops from Pfizer and is now in a position to start trading, although it has already provided computers to families referred by the Council’s Family Support Team.