£24 PC scheme to help UK charities and benefit claimants

row of laptops

Digital inclusion charity Go ON UK has teamed up with Microsoft to provide refurbished computers to disadvantaged people for as little as 24.

The Microsoft-backed Get Online@ Home scheme allows charities and people on certain benefits to purchase a refurbished, internet-ready desktop or laptop computer for 99 or 149, respectively.

However, from tomorrow, the price of these devices will be cut by a further 75 for people who sign up for a broadband or phone deal through Plusnet, Sky, EE, Virgin Media, Primus Saver and Talk Talk.

With the cost of internet access cited as a key reason for not being online, this is an incredible saving.

As a result, some users will be able to procure a desktop PC from 24 and a laptop device from 74 and depending on the provider they choose could access broadband services from 2.99 a month.

To qualify for the discounted price, applicants must be a registered UK charity or receive one of the following benefits: income support, jobseeker's allowance, pension credit, disability living allowance, attendance allowance, housing benefit, carer's allowance, incapacity benefit or the disability element of a working tax credit.

The scheme forms part of the Go ON UK digital inclusion programme, which was set up to help the 16 million people across the UK who reportedly lack basic online skills.

The computers will be provided by a slew of Microsoft approved refurbishers, including Centerprise International, Stone Computers, Remploy, Sims Lifecycle Services, Computer Recyclers, Partners IT and Ecosystems IT.

Baroness Lane-Fox, who set up Go ON UK, said: "With the cost of internet access cited as a key reason for not being online, this is an incredible saving and will transform the lives of everyone that hasn't been able to get online before.

"With so much online now, from paying bills and banking to job applications, connecting with people and getting the very best deals, being online is no longer a nice to have, it is an essential," she added.

Further to this, the charity has also teamed up with the Post Office to provide a free service to customers that want information about their nearest internet access points.

The Post Office's counter staff will now have access to a database featuring information about free local internet access and training points.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.