SECH calls for donations of unwanted smartphones or tablets to keep our community connected.

South Essex Community Hub (SECH) is helping to tackle digital exclusion by distributing tablets and data packages to vulnerable people in Southend, and urgently needs support.

A large number of people in our community are digitally excluded and aren’t able to access the internet at home, or may not have the skills or confidence to use technology or access online services. Being digitally excluded makes life harder, but during lockdown, no internet access meant that some people in our community were completely shut off from the outside world, and were unable to access online services or accurate health information. People who were shielding suddenly found themselves isolated, unable to shop for essentials, or to video chat with loved ones.

SECH, in partnership with Good Things Foundation and South Essex Homes, has been helping to bridge this digital divide by distributing phones, tablets, data packages to those most in need. SECH volunteers are also providing support to recipients to help them use this technology and access the information that they need.

David Preston, Chief Operating Officer at SECH, said, “We don’t know if we are about to head into another lockdown or not, but we do know that we need to support vulnerable people in our community to be able to connect with the outside world. We hear stories of people who had to choose between buying data or food, and of people who were shielding during lockdown but who had to leave their homes to access the things that they needed, even though they are in at-risk groups.”

“We’ve already distributed ten tablets and data packages to those most in need, but we need to do more. If you have an unwanted smartphone or tablet lying around the house which we could put to good use, please consider donating it to us. We can recycle them and make a real difference to our community”.

To donate your smartphone or tablet, please visit the Victoria Hub at the Victoria Plaza Shopping Centre or email Alternatively, you can visit our JustGiving page to donate to support our work.

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