A Wiltshire computer rescue charity that recycles laptops to benefit schools, charities and families has been awarded £135,000 in Lottery funding.

Wiltshire Digital Drive is celebrating after getting the big money backing from the National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

The non-profit organisation, established in October 2020 and based in Corsham, exists to recycle, refurbish and redistribute second hand laptops to reduce the digital divide in the county.

“This valuable funding will be used to recruit a corporate fundraiser on a three year fixed-term contract and will ensure the next stage of the organisation’s growth and sustainability,” said a spokesman.

Natalie Sherman, Co-Director of Wiltshire Digital Drive, added: “To date we have saved over six tonnes of waste from going to landfill and helped over 1,300 people to get connected by providing them with their own laptop, free of charge.

“But there’s so much more to do. Thanks to National Lottery players, this grant means that we can really begin to accelerate our impact in Wiltshire. This will make a big difference to people’s lives.”

Donation stations for Wiltshire Digital Drive are: Naturally Social in Corsham, Priority IT in Westbury, the Citroen and Ford Dealerships in Trowbridge, Bank House in Calne, the Vauxhall Dealership in Chippenham, Aster Housing in Devizes, the Hearing & Mobility Store in Marlborough/Swindon/Wroughton, the Household Waste & Recycling Centre in Swindon, Castle Sundborn in Malmesbury, Godolphin School in Salisbury, and Turner & Partners in Bath.

Separately, a Calne-based IT and web design company called Black Nova has announced its Porte Marsh office is now also a drop off and collection point for used and unwanted tech hardware.

“Anyone with an old or broken computer, tablet or charging device can take it to the Black Nova office and drop it off for free, knowing that it will be safely recycled, and any remaining data destroyed,” said a spokesman.

“To provide this new service, Black Nova has partnered with Green Machine, a company focused on sustainability and the preservation of our environment by recycling old technology and preventing it going into landfill.”

People can drop off their donations between 9am and 4pm every weekday at the Black Nova Designs office on Redman Road, Porte Marsh Industrial Estate, Calne, Chippenham (postcode SN11 9PL). The technology accepted in the drop box scheme includes: PCs, laptops, MacBooks, iPads, cables and chargers

Black Nova managing director Kyle Holmes said:  “I’m proud to be part of a scheme helping people recycle their old IT hardware. IT does so much to make our lives easier and keep us connected with colleagues, friends and loved ones, but it mustn’t be at the expense of the planet.

“We look forward to helping stop lots of old tech hardware from going into landfill and instead make it useful for someone else to use.”