We couldn’t deliver our objectives as a charity without the fantastic support of our refurbishment volunteers. During two workshops every Wednesday in the Bureau, Glossop, they carry out the essential work of refurbishing and recycling the IT equipment that is donated to us.
It is important that we value their contribution and one practical way to demonstrate this is to provide opportunities for skills and knowledge development. This is why we were so happy when Brett Casterton, founder of Inology IT support company, got in touch with the idea of running a Networking Essentials course for the volunteers.
Brett wasn’t a stranger to us; in fact, he has been supporting PCrefurb with the provision of IT equipment since early 2021.
Working in partnership
We caught up with Brett recently and asked him what motivated him to support PCrefurb in the first place. He told us: “We initially reached out to PCrefurb as our business sector aligns with your equipment needs. It was great to help directly in this manner. We learnt a lot about the digital divide and how broad this was, as we were unaware, so it has been a good learning experience for us as a company.”
Networking essentials training
Brett Casterton pictured delivering the training.
Brett also told us why he offered to deliver the four-week Networking Essentials course: “All the volunteers are tech-loving and while they work with desktops and laptops on a weekly basis, we wanted to give them some further insight into how these devices that they refurbish connect together onsite and to the internet. This might encourage or spark insight into further learning or maybe help with friends and family.”
PCrefurb Technical Lead Worker, Jamie Abbott, described the course as “giving the attendees basic knowledge and tools around their home internet networks to enable them to set them up as securely as possible whilst also being able to troubleshoot any problems that may arise. Brett also dipped a little into more advanced stuff, as it helped explain the current subject but also to find out if a more advanced course would be something that was wanted.
Brett, Jamie (pictured fifth from left) and the participants in the course.
I feel it benefitted all those who attended as it highlighted to them that, whilst complex, it can be easier than first thought to troubleshoot and change security settings in their home networks and those of friends and family.”
Course participants receive their certificates from Brett, alongside PCrefurb Chief Officer Helen Melhuish.
Corporate social responsibility
Regarding the wider responsibilities of the business community, Brett is a firm believer in the social responsibility of companies and engagement in community participation. He told us: “We 100% subscribe to this; our local MP (Andrew Gwynn) did a great writeup for us last year in the Tameside Reporter called “Local Businesses Playing their Part” for our work with the local food bank. I think a lot of local businesses do not give enough back to the local community. We always try to help if we can, please do reach out if you think we can help.” Brett can be contacted via Inology’s website.
We extend our thanks to Brett and his team at Inology, not only for providing this course, but also for his ongoing support of our work.