Two East Lancashire firms collaborate to donate 10 laptops to London charity
Switchback was presented with 10 laptops as part of a collaboration between two East Lancashire tech businesses, Rapid IT, Padiham and Daisy Communications, Nelson.
The devices will allow Switchback Trainees apply for jobs, real work training and financial support as part of the essential post-sentence rehabilitation process the charity enables.
In 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Switchback also launched their Foundation for Stability programme, providing six weeks of intensive 1-to-1 support beginning immediately upon release and for which the laptops will prove invaluable.
The donation comes following the success of Rapid IT’s Tech 4 All Kids campaign which has seen the company contribute computers to schools across the North West.
Rapid IT, in Wyre Street, received the devices from Lomeshaye-based communications company, Daisy Communications, and refurbished each one before sending them down to Switchback’s London offices.
Switchback Partnerships Manager, Will Akrigg, said: “The pandemic has hit those we support particularly hard. Historically, many of our trainees join the hospitality sector following their release which has been mostly closed over the last year.
“As a result, we’ve found that around two thirds of those released since the pandemic took hold, have either been homeless or at risk of homelessness.
“Trainees have been using mobile phones to create CVs, apply for jobs and professional accreditations, and secure universal credit. It’s made undertaking these vital steps unnecessarily
“With proper laptops, they can achieve much greater success in improving their situations, developing self-worth and reducing the chances of re-offending.”
Jack Bannister, Managing Director of Rapid IT, said: “Though our Tech 4 All Kids campaign has been centred on supporting schools, the Switchback charity is close to Daisy and as they are a business partner of ours, we wanted to help.”
Matthew Riley, of Daisy Communications, added: “We know that Switchback’s Trainees have a hard time upon leaving prison and we felt a duty to give them the tools to make that journey a bit easier.
"We live in a digital age now where everything is online so people wanting to better themselves need access to technology.”
“Having paid their debt to society, if our donation can help Switchback Trainees find self-esteem and paid employment, then we feel that is a very worthy cause and one we’re delighted to support.”