VOLUNTEERS from across Wiltshire who helped collect, refurbish and distribute unwanted laptops back out to local communities during lockdown have been thanked at a special event.

Wiltshire Digital Drive has been helping people get online since October 2020 and more than 850 unloved devices have been handed back out to school children, families and local community groups.

The Community Interest Company (CIC) has recognised that none of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the volunteers who gave up their time during the pandemic to help.

Natalie Sherman, co-director of Wiltshire Digital Drive, said: “When we put out the appeal for unwanted laptops and tablets, we never thought we would get the response we did. With more than 2,500 devices donated so far, it’s been a mammoth task and we couldn’t have done this without the support of the community, our friends, family and volunteers."

She added: “The funding we’ve received from The National Lottery Community Fund has also been amazing. We were granted £24,500 which is more than we ever thought we would get and it’s really going to help us continue our work and make the CIC sustainable.”

To help show their appreciation and gratitude to these volunteers, the three co-directors set up a celebratory picnic in the grounds of the Digital Mansion in Corsham.

Games, activities and afternoon tea were provided along with a raffle to help raise funds for more refurbishments.

Prizes were given by local Corsham companies and the directors thanked No.21 restaurant, Twigs & Willow florist, Lick the Spoon chocolate company, Toby Haynes Family Butchers, Naturally Social, Automattic Comics & The Corsham Toy Shop and Corsham Stationery for their donations.