People’s Partnership: helping people and the environment by donating devices
People's Partnership are tackling digital exclusion by donating used tech to the National Device Bank. They shared their motivations, the benefits and why other organisations should get involved.
The National Device Bank has been up and running for over a year already, helping businesses and public sector organisations meet their ESG goals whilst also helping digitally excluded people get access to the online world through a refurbished device.
We’re delighted to have received device donations from 35 organisations, from businesses to public sector organisations, including People’s Partnership.
People’s Partnership is a financial services business which was founded for social good and uses its profits to provide straightforward, accessible and trusted products and support which help to provide greater financial security for more than 6 million people across the UK.
This year, People’s Partnership donated its used IT equipment to the National Device Bank. We spoke to Nicola Sinclair, Head of Responsible Business and Construction Alliance, and Charlie Waring, IT Buyer, about why they did it and why other organisations should join the digital inclusion movement.
Why did People’s Partnership choose to donate to the National Device Bank?
Nicola: People’s Partnership was looking for a better way to dispose of our devices instead of sending them to landfill. Due to concerns about data security, we used to destroy a lot of our devices and even when we did recycle them, we destroyed the hard drives. Because of Covid-19, and because of our new hybrid way of working as an organisation, we found that we had lots more devices to dispose of.
We came across Good Things Foundation when searching for a responsible way to dispose of our IT equipment. We chose the National Device Bank for 2 main reasons; the social and environmental impact.
Covid-19 really opened our eyes to digital exclusion. We saw how school children needed devices, we saw shoutouts from schools and community centres asking for devices to be donated for people that were digitally excluded. So, as an organisation we really wanted to step in and help. We knew that we were going to have more and more devices coming towards the end of their life and that we could do something positive with them.
The environmental impact was also a big draw for us. There is a big push for all organisations to become carbon neutral, and donating our end of life tech to the National Device Bank will definitely help us to achieve that.
Why did you choose Good Things Foundation over other organisations with similar schemes?
Nicola: We scoped out a couple of organisations and chose Good Things Foundation because they’re about more than just devices – we were really interested in their other digital inclusion services. We really love the Learn My Way platform and we saw that as something we could promote and make use of too. We didn’t want to just donate our devices and walk away, there was a much bigger collaborative relationship to be had between Good Things’ services and the People’s Partnership’s services.
Charlie: There were also a couple of things that were different about Good Things that we considered. The one stark difference was the way in which the devices were donated to people. Good Things identify the areas most in need and distribute the devices there through the National Digital Inclusion Network. It was reassuring to know that our devices were going where they were needed most and into the hands of people who need them.
What will your partnership with Good Things look like going forward?
Nicola: We’ve donated 350 laptops so far and we will donate more as and when. We’re currently setting up the schedule for this to happen on a regular basis.
As an organisation we wanted to take this one stage further. We’ve heard about Good Things’ targets around the number of devices they want to distribute. Hearing about this target got us thinking about how we can support Good Things to achieve these targets and reach more people in need. It made sense to us to develop our relationship further and we hope to promote the National Device Bank to our employer members and individuals with a People’s Partnership pension.
What advice do you have for other organisations when it comes to donating devices?
Nicola: Do it – for us it was a no brainer. It has been really, really worth it. Once the process is set up, you’ve overcome any internal hurdles and put in appropriate safeguards you’re away. We come from the financial sector, it is a very regulated industry and we’re incredibly conscious of our data protection obligations. But if we can do it safely and securely, so can other businesses. This is a route that most businesses can go down.
More good things
Device Bank FAQ's Are you an organisation thinking about donating to the National Device Bank? Read our frequently asked questions to learn more.
Read transformational stories The National Digital Inclusion Network has supported people to improve their lives through digital.
Our digital inclusion services Thousands of people have been supported by the National Databank, the National Device Bank and Learn My Way.