Guide to Sourcing Digital Devices
Case Studies

Sunderland City Council – G.O.! Get Online ICT Recycling Scheme


Sunderland City Council (SCC) appealed to individuals and businesses for device donations. Donations were refurbished by an external partner, Protech, and were made available to purchase for Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations that support digitally excluded residents at a low cost. The scheme has benefitted over 1000 residents so far.

Running a successful campaign

SCC approached local businesses, large corporates and public sector organisations directly. It also advertised on local radio and through its VCS network mailing list. 

Managing the donations

The council set up drop off centres around the county and Protech also collected donations directly from businesses where necessary. 

Through the council’s Community Wealth Strategy, public and private sector partners were able to donate their own devices to this scheme as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility programmes.

Because of GDPR considerations, Protech required a contract with donors and the individual drop off centres. Protech collected, wiped and restored the devices and also installed Windows 10 and Microsoft Office 2010. 

VCS organisations could apply to purchase refurbished devices via an online form at a cost of £120 per device. To be eligible, the organisations had to use the equipment to help residents get online or improve their digital skills. They could also purchase a device if it would help the organisation run more effectively. 


  • Resource was a major challenge. SCC recommends creating a role to manage the administration and communications of a similar project. 
  • The council recommends identifying the need and creating case studies to help promote the scheme. 
  • The fee for devices helped to make the project sustainable as it covered all supplier’s costs.
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