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Barking and Dagenham Council loans laptops to elderly people for free

Old man with laptop
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Barking and Dagenham Council has launched a scheme offering elderly residents the chance to borrow a laptop computer for free.

It said the eligible applicants will be able to make use of a Chromebook for up to six weeks at a time without any payment, and possibly benefit from free data to access the internet.

The scheme is open to anyone aged over 65 who does not have their own laptop or smartphone and is a member of the borough’s libraries.

It has been launched as a three-month pilot and as part of the council’s wider digital inclusion effort.

Other schemes cover the provision of free mobile data, calls and message for people on low incomes, the roll out of free Wi-Fi in libraries and the creation of digital champions in the borough.

Benefits for residents

Cllr Saima Ashraf, deputy leader and cabinet member for community leadership and engagement, said: “We want to ensure all our residents can access the benefits of being online - from the social aspects through to the exclusive internet-only discounts and deals that are now part of everyday life.

“As the world gets more digital, we need to help make sure nobody is left behind, which is why it’s important we offer schemes such as free laptops, free internet access, or free training to our residents.”

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