Susan van de Ven

Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Bassingbourn, Melbourn, Meldreth and Whaddon Learn more

Recycling Centres are opening – DON’T throw away your old computer!

by Susan van de Ven on 10 May, 2020

Recycling centres are reopening tomorrow – but please DON’T throw away any unwanted computers, laptops, screens, mice and keyboards!

Meldreth Coronavirus Community Support is building new computers out of second-hand donations, to supply Melbourn Village College students who are on home study due to Covid-19 restrictions but lacking home computers. We’d also like to make them available to elderly isolated residents who’d like to get set up on the internet for the first time.

The computers are rebuilt by Andy Thomas at home in Meldreth on his kitchen table. They are then PAT tested by David Coton. The first lot of new computers was delivered to Melbourn Village College last week, to the delight of Headteacher Simon Holmes:

“We’re extremely grateful for this equipment as it will make a significant difference to those children and families who receive it. Home schooling is not something any of our parents expected to be doing and for those children who have been trying to access their work on a phone or sharing a tablet or family computer, this is a huge step forwards. Our thanks go to all who have donated.”


More computers are in the process of rebuilding but more monitors, keyboards and mice and mice are needed. Several old laptops have also been donated to the scheme – these are especially useful. Whatever might seem too old or unworkable can be stripped for spare parts – everything is useful.

Some history nuggets lie within: Award-winning children’s author Frances Hardinge (pictured) has provided a monitor and a laptop: “This was my laptop while I was writing A Face Like Glass and the first half of Cuckoo Song. It’s helped me conjure underground labyrinths, exploding cheeses, screaming dolls and supernatural secrets. I hope it will be of use to somebody else now!”

Another children’s author, Rhiannon Lassiter, has donated her old Ibook G4, which will be sold to raise funds to pay for spare parts.

Computer gaming guru Alistair Halsby has donated the smallest and largest computers so far (pictured below). Andy says that “Both have about the same power – time shrinks things! The large computer was in its day an example of the best money could buy.”

So – if you have any old computers or components lying around, and would consider donating them, please get in touch. Thank you!


2 Responses

  1. Joanne Hart says:

    I have a load of old computer equipment to donate. Where do I take it to, please?

    Many thanks.

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