Rural Action Derbyshire has teamed up with PCrefurb, to pilot a scheme to refurbish donated devices to then get them out to people who would otherwise be digitally excluded.

Digital Exclusion, is where a section of people do not have access and capacity to use digital services. The delivery of services is ‘digital by default’ these days meaning if you don’t have a device or you have one, but you are not confident to use it, then you are at a significant disadvantage.

Donations from the public are designed to provide free refurbished digital devices to qualifying people and Members of the Digital Support Derbyshire Network from January 2024.

The refurbished devices will then be available to those who deliver digital support, and are in need of equipment for their training and workshops.

To make sure there are enough devices to help deliver this digital support we need to obtain as many suitable devices as possible. The number will inevitably be limited, but the more that are donated the better. This pilot only runs until the end of March, so donations would need to be made as soon as possible.

Charlotte Winterbottom, Policy & Partnerships Manager at Rural Action Derbyshire: “This pilot will be building on the fantastic track record that PCrefurb has and will enable us to expand the service into the rest of Derbyshire.”

The pilot scheme will initially be focussed on helping groups to obtain devices to be able to offer digital support. But it is hoped that with time, support and continued donations, individual users may also be able to benefit from a refurbished device too. There will also be limited access to Wifi Hotspots and Vodafone data sims.

Helen Melhuish, Chief Officer at PCrefurb explains: "PCrefurb is very pleased to be working with Rural Action Derbyshire and the Digital Support Derbyshire network. By refurbishing and distributing donated IT equipment and providing access to basic digital skills training, together we can continue to improve the digital inclusion of Derbyshire residents and VCSE organisations."  

If you would like to donate your old and unused digital devices, or you know of any organisations that might have a number of devices to donate, you can take them to PCrefurb in Glossop, Zink in Buxton or the RAD office in Matlock. Contact us for more information – [email protected] or call 01629 592970. You can also check the criteria on this link or contact PCrefurb for further information:

PCrefurb is a charity that aims to “bridge the digital divide”. They refurbish donated IT equipment and redistribute it to those most in need, helping people connect with training and education and to support their well-being. They provide digital skills training in the community and engage volunteers, some of whom face complex challenges, in all areas of our work. They work together for social and environmental good. They have joined forces with RAD’s Digital Support Derbyshire Network to enable the whole of Derbyshire to benefit from their refurbished devices.

Information on devices they can take.

Our ideal laptops are less than 5 years old, but we will consider older equipment on a case-by-case basis. Chargers are greatly appreciated but not essential.

Tablets and iPads
We accept known to work, undamaged tablets, minimum Android version 8 or iPad 5th Generation or above. Any older devices will not be secure. Chargers and charging leads are greatly appreciated but not essential. All account information, pin-codes and passwords must be removed. 
See below for how to do this.

Smart phones
We accept known to work, undamaged smart phones, minimum Android version 8 or iPhone 6. Any older devices will not be secure. Chargers and charging leads are greatly appreciated but not essential. If your donated phone is locked to a network provider (e.g.O2, Vodafone, EE, Three etc.) do please let us know which one. All account information, pin-codes and passwords must be removed. 
See below for how to do this.

Desktop Computers
27/9/23 – we are unable to accept desktop computers at the moment while we process our current stock. Corporate donors please 
contact us to discuss donations.

Computer Monitors
We accept flat screen monitors 19 inch or above. We cannot take large, CRT monitors or televisions.

We are unable to accept printers.

Cables, leads and laptop chargers
We accept undamaged computer mains leads (IEC/kettle leads), monitor leads and laptop chargers. We cannot use TV leads or non-UK mains leads. All equipment and leads are PAT tested before redistribution.

Anything else?
We will consider any IT related equipment so please 
contact us and we’ll happily have a discussion.


Our processes for refurbishing IT equipment are comprehensive. In summary:

  • Donations are logged in our administrative systems so they can be tracked through our refurbishing and/or recycling processes.
  • Data wiping – we erase data from hard drives and other storage devices using industry standard methods, producing an individualised certificate of destruction where required. See below for further information on data wiping.
  • Hardware testing – donations are stress-tested and PAT tested, and a variety of hardware tests are run as appropriate.
  • Software installation – we reinstall operating systems and can install software to meet individual’s needs on request, e.g. accessibility software.
  • We are a Registered Third Party Microsoft Refurbisher so can install the latest Windows Operating Systems for eligible customers.


If we are unable to refurbish and redistribute donations or reuse any salvaged components we recycle them following the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive. We are registered with the Environment Agency.

Data Wiping

We do not look at the content of your hard drives when you donate computers to us. We remove the drives and use professional, industry standard software to wipe the data. Should you wish to delete data from your hard drives yourself before donating them to us, we recommend using a dedicated erasure program such as Active@KillDisk – a freeware version is available which will do far more than simply deleting files or reformatting the disc. Other free data wiping programs are available. Whether you choose to do this yourself or not, we still follow our strict procedures of data erasure using professional software designed to international standards.

Removing Accounts From Mobile Devices

In order to reuse mobile devices we perform a factory reset, but in order for us to get past factory reset protection, please ensure that you have removed your personal accounts such as Google, iTunes, Samsung or other device specific accounts. Unfortunately if these accounts are not removed we will be unable to refurbish and distribute your device to someone in need.

On Android devices go to:

Settings > Accounts > [your google account] > Remove Account

Also remove all other accounts such as Samsung accounts.

On Apple devices, remove any passcodes and remove it from your list of associated devices and remove your iCloud/iTunes account or else we won’t be able to reuse it.

  1. If you’ve paired an Apple Watch with your iPhone, unpair your Apple Watch.
  2. Sign out of iCloud and the iTunes & App Store.
  3. If you’re using iOS 10.3 or later, tap Settings > [your name]. Scroll down and tap Sign Out. Enter your Apple ID password and tap Turn Off.
  4. If you’re using iOS 10.2 or earlier, tap Settings > iCloud > Sign Out. Tap Sign Out again, then tap Delete from My [device] and enter your Apple ID password. Then go to Settings > iTunes & App Store > Apple ID > Sign Out.
  5. Go back to Settings and tap General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.