College Students Set to Launch Computer Donation Project

When Dudley College recently decommissioned some of its computers students on the IT Systems Support courses were eager to put the redundant computers to good use by reconditioning them and donating the workstations to registered charities and voluntary groups completely free.

The initial batch of 40 computers has now been prepared for donation and the college is looking for local charities that would benefit from new or additional IT equipment. Charities will be asked to submit a short application outlining why they require the computers. These will then be judged by a panel of staff and students from the college to select which charities should benefit from the computers.

At four years old, the computers no longer supported some of the software students require for their studies, but would be ideal for general office work and supporting software packages.

Overseen by their tutors, the students overhauled the PCs as part of their course, helping them to get real experience of working on and renovating computer hardware. Work included stripping down the computers, repairing any damage, wiping clean all data and preparing them for future use by the charities. After the PCs had undergone this thorough process the students then set about loading new free operating systems and anti-virus software.

To help gain some valuable experience the students will also be on hand to help set up the workstations at the charities’ premises, where charities are local to the college.

Dave Dougan, an IT tutor at Dudley College who helped set up the project explained: “This is a great opportunity for local charities to obtain IT resources free of charge. It will also benefit our students who’ll be looking for employment shortly. By dealing with customers and using their knowledge and skills to set-up the computers outside the classroom environment the students will acquire invaluable real-life workplace experience.”

The students have already benefited from the work they have done on reconditioning the computers, but now they are very eager to get the equipment out to the charities.

Bradley Whitehouse, 18 from Sedgley is a student on the IT systems support course said: “With this project we are helping out the local community, which gives you the satisfaction that you have done something to help people who are less fortunate, and that’s a great feeling.”

John Aldridge 20 from Oldbury said: “In this day and age you need to have work experience to be considered for a job and it’s often hard to come by for college students. Being involved in this project will enable me to proceed in my chosen career unhindered by the lack of hands-on experience.

The donation of the IT equipment supports one of the college’s strategic priorities which focuses on supporting the local community and aims to give something back to the area the college operates within.

Charities wishing to make an application for the IT equipment should email to obtain an application form and a set of terms and conditions. Deadline for applications: 2 May 2014.