Redundant GTR computers to transform students' lives in Malawi

Published: 02 Sep 2022

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) are donating 600 redundant computers to The Turing Trust, the IT recycling and education charity.

The donation and refurbishment of the mini desktop computers will enable thousands of children to learn computing skills, while saving over 160 tonnes of carbon emissions that would otherwise have been created by the manufacture of new computers.

Whilst GTR are replacing the outdated desktops because they no longer support the latest software that the company needs to use, they are potentially invaluable for organisations such as charities and schools who cannot afford the IT equipment they need.

The train operator delivered the first batch of 70 desktops to the Trust’s workshop this week. GTR’s IT team first removed all data and reinstalled the original operating system. The Trust will now wipe the donated equipment securely to UK Government standards, before undertaking any refurbishment and repairs needed, and then ship the fully working equipment to recipients in need.

Most of GTR’s donation is expected to be passed on to schools in Malawi, where The Turing Trust has been working since 2016. Just six years ago, only three per cent of Malawian schools had even a single computer. Now, thanks to the Trust’s programme, over 80 per cent of schools in the north of the country have the technology for children to learn computing skills.

Some of the donation will go to support communities in the UK.

GTR were keen to link up with the Trust again since they worked together last November. With the Trust’s help, the company donated 80 old Android tablets to a charity helping homeless and excluded people gain the computing skills to create CVs and apply for jobs.

James Turing, Founder of the Trust, said: “We're delighted to receive this fantastic donation from Govia Thameslink Railway which will help us to do so much in the coming months. Thanks to their donation, 10,800 students will be able to learn vital IT skills.

“Beyond this the environmental impact from their donation will offset 168 tonnes of CO2 emissions, which is the equivalent of planting 420 trees, or offsetting the annual carbon footprints of 17 Britons. The embodied energy savings created are also enough to power 41 UK homes for a year as well. Thank you so much to the whole team at Govia Thameslink Railway for making all of this possible!”

Aidan Shanahan, GTR’s Head of IT, said: “We’re delighted to be able to work with The Turing Trust to make such a life-changing difference for so many people, by giving old equipment a second life. The demand for refurbished computers is so high that the 600 units we’re donating is a drop in the ocean, so we encourage other organisations with redundant kit to work with the Trust so it can be re-used securely with such lasting and valuable impact.”


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