University of Westminster alumnus and SocialBox.Biz founder Peter Paduh has partnered with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and the Greater London Authority (GLA) to give away unused laptops to the vulnerable.

Two vulnerable people sitting down and using laptops

The partnership between the GLA and SocialBox.Biz, a social enterprise which aims to eliminate digital exclusion in London, comes after Paduh encouraged the Mayor of London and the head of the GLA’s IT department to get involved in his ‘Laptops for the homeless and vulnerable’ initiative by giving away their unused gadgets. The GLA will be giving away old technology, including Apple Macs, in this effort to help vulnerable people stay connected and avoid loneliness during the winter lockdown. 

SocialBox.Biz will distribute the technology to charities that work with the elderly, homeless, and refugees in the UK capital, such as Age UK London and the Single Homeless Project. To begin with, 400 items of old GLA technology will be given out in London. The enterprise has previously delivered 1,000 unused laptops to charities across the country, including the British Red Cross. 

Paduh came to the UK as a refugee from the Balkans in 1993. He says that a turning point in his life was when he received a free computer not long after he arrived.

Paduh said: “We take for granted our laptops, tablets and smartphones to stay connected with loved ones during the pandemic. For many of us, we can order our shopping and medication online and continue our education. For large parts of the population, they do not have this luxury. The pandemic has rammed home the need for digital exclusion to be prioritised immediately. I’m really pleased to work with government and business leaders in London who get how important this is too.”

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