The new scheme enables individuals or families who are receiving a means tested benefit to rent a computer or laptop for just £1 per week.
The idea behind the initiative was born when a programme of work to refresh the IT network at our site in Barrow in Furness began. Instead of scrapping the many computers and laptops due to be steadily replaced over the next few years, Maritime- Submarines will now donate them for the benefit of the community.
The initiative is being launched in conjunction with Capita, Maritime-Submarines’ IT service provider that will ‘data cleanse’ the computers before they are rented, and Ulverston based IT company, Miller Waite, that will install a full Microsoft Office license and provide ongoing help desk support.
Recipients will be asked to pay £1 per week to Miller Waite to cover the cost of this support and will also help fund two new apprentice positions to help support the project.
Laura Lake is a Communication Advisor at Maritime-Submarines and chairs the community group which is driving the project. She said: “BAE Systems is passionate about the future of Barrow and the people who live here.
“As one of the major employers in the town, we regularly invest in schemes that will benefit the community and this brand new initiative has been launched to try and improve the quality of life for low income individuals or families.
“Maritime-Submarines is committed to securing a future workforce that has the right skills. We hope that by supplying computers to the homes of those who need them, more young people and their families will get the chance to improve their education and prospects by completing homework and CVs more easily, or being able to apply for university or jobs online.”
Claire Grove lives in Barrow-in-Furness and is one of the first to apply for a computer for her family. She said: “I think this is a great idea that will help a lot of people. Our laptop is on its last legs and we can’t afford to replace it. I have two children who will be able to do homework and go online, and the whole family will have a chance to practice computer skills.
“It will also be a lot easier for my husband to do his CV and apply for jobs now, rather than having to use his phone or go to the library.”
Anyone who lives in Barrow Borough and is in receipt of a means tested benefit is eligible to apply to the scheme to receive their own computer. Applications can be completed online at: www.computerbenefits.co.uk or individuals can attend the Barrow and District Disability Association, Miller Waite or Cumbria Volunteer Service for help in completing an application by hand.