THE Newport-based Office for National Statistics (ONS) has teamed up with South Wales charity Wastesavers to find good homes for 135 pieces of their old IT equipment.
With several thousand staff across three offices, the ONS wanted a more sustainable way to dispose of its old machines when upgrading staff computers. Wastesavers helped to re-distribute the ONS’ old IT equipment to South Wales residents in need.
This partnership is also set to be extended to the other ONS offices in London and Titchfield later this summer.
One of the first charities to take advantage of the programme was The Raven House Trust food bank in Newport. Peter Hill, a driver for the Trust, said the ONS donated iPad made a huge difference almost immediately.
“Part of our problem was our location in an old shop. Our stock is spread over two levels in a section of the building that only has one electric plug!
“We were using sheets of paper to keep track of stock levels, but as our operation grew, this was becoming more difficult. We’ve seen a 320% rise in demand over the last year alone.
“Our volunteers can now keep track of donations and stock clearly and simply. No more bits of paper getting lost.
“Having the iPad has also enabled us to be able to take card payments. Before, we could only take cash.
“I would say the iPad from ONS has been a real game-changer for us.”
Another local charity, Rewild Play, runs a community forest school project. Project coordinator Sian Lewis-Evans explained the big difference technology made to small charities:
“Many of the children we work with suffer from a range of emotional and mental health problems, from ADHD to acute anxiety.
“For them, direct eye contact can cause a sensory overload and actually aggravate their conditions. The iPad allows them to communicate without eye contact. This will undoubtedly help with their communication skills and confidence generally.”
Scott Howell, Deputy Director of Business Enablers at the ONS, said:
“Sustainability is important to the ONS, being chosen as one of our four central values in our most recent strategy. When we upgraded our IT equipment, we knew there had to be a better way than simply throwing old machines out.
“We are delighted that with the help of Wastesavers, our old devices are being put to good use, helping organisations and communities near our Newport headquarters.”
Alun Harries, Charity manager with Wastesavers, said:
“We are really pleased to be able to announce this new partnership with the ONS.
“It’s very satisfying to see these computers being put to such good use and making a real difference in people’s lives here in south Wales, and we’re really looking forward to expanding this programme in Hampshire and London with the ONS.”