Welcome to Tech4Families Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.
Explore the following questions to gain insights into how Tech4Families is empowering households across the UK with the tools and knowledge needed for a digitally inclusive future.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for families who have applied, or verifiers.
Which areas are covered?
- Staffordshire (Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire Moorlands, Stafford, East Staffordshire, Newcastle under Lyme, Lichfield, South Staffordshire, Cannock Chase local authorities), England.
- West Cumbria (Cumberland local authority), England.
- Norfolk Coast (Kings Lynn and West Norfolk, North Norfolk, Great Yarmouth local authorities), England.
- Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend, Wales
- Ayrshire (North Ayrshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire local authorities), Scotland.
- Lincolnshire Coast (North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire, East Lindsey, Boston and South Holland local authorities), England.
- Northern Ireland.
How do I apply?
Families can apply online using the form on our website OR if they do not have access to a device to complete the application online, they can request a paper form to be sent to them by texting their postal address to 07984445476, which they can then post back to us. Organisations can also download a paper form here.
What’s the timeframe between applying and receiving a laptop?
While we strive to get laptops to families as soon as possible, this process does take 9 months due to heavy demand and our reliance on customer donations to buy each batch of laptops.
Once your application has been verified we will notify you. Your application will then join a first-come first-serve waiting list.
We buy laptops each month based on the number of donations we receive. When you reach the top of the waiting list, we get in touch directly with families on the waiting list. We allow a week for families to update their delivery address, followed by a week whilst the order is processed. Once this is complete, delivery commences.
How do you verify the applications, or can anyone apply and get one?
All applications must be verified by someone from the community i.e., a teacher, charity representative, librarian, local councillor, CAB official, Children’s Services Staff or Job Centre Official. They must know the child in a professional capacity with a professional email domain and cannot be a family member. These details are double checked before devices are distributed.
The child must be between 4 and 16, and the verifier must confirm that they believe that the family would not otherwise be able to afford a device suitable for the child’s education. The family can use the laptop for other purposes, including entertainment.
This scheme is designed help those who are most in need of a device and we ask that you only verify an application where a child could not access a device otherwise.
Who is responsible for the laptop if its damaged or broken after donation? Do Currys repair or provide a replacement?
Each laptop is a gift, and the family is responsible for this laptop, and neither the Digital Poverty Alliance / Learning Foundation, nor Currys plc, nor any other laptop provider or third party connected with providing the laptop, is responsible for ongoing maintenance.
If the device is faulty on delivery, please get in touch with our Tech4Families team email@example.com and we will ask the correct team within the provider (usually Currys) to contact you regarding a repair or replacement.. Please do not go to a Currys store for repairs to a faulty device.
What would lead to my application being unsuccessful?
An application would be deemed unsuccessful if you don’t meet the criteria, for example not living in one of the areas we support, or the chosen verifier provided:
- has not got a professional email domain
- the email address used has bounced
- the email address is for a family member
- does not believe there is genuine need or
- does not respond to the email with the verification link
Why have I not heard back/had updates on my application?
Whilst we aim to give you regular updates, we are a small team therefore there may be a delay in responses. However, we will give updates at every stage – including when you are verified. Once you are verified, you won’t hear from us again until you reach the top of our waiting list – which currently exceeds 9 months.
I am a verifier receiving multiple applications, how can I speed up this process?
If you have received multiple applications to verify, you can get in contact with us via firstname.lastname@example.org with a list of names of the children you wish to verify, confirming that you have spoken to the family and that you believe that they have no other access to a device at home that is suitable for learning, that you believe that they would not be able to afford a device otherwise, that this is the only application you will support for the child, and that you understand that a device is not guaranteed. We will then verify the applications for you.
I was told to expect a device but it did not arrive, what can I do?
From the point where we confirm your device, you should expect to receive the laptop within one month. Sometimes you will receive an anti-virus pack first – the laptop will follow.
If you received a tracking number, you should follow the instructions to track this and arrange re-delivery if possible. If the parcel shows returned to sender, or it has been more than a week, please email us as soon as possible with the tracking number so we can follow up with the supplier.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for more general information about the scheme.
How does it work?
If a family lives in one of the seven areas and doesn’t have access to a laptop, they can apply for us to send them one – not as loan or rental, it’s for their family, for good. Their application is then verified by someone from the community (like a teacher or councillor) and sent back to us.
The laptops we provide are all funded by the generous donations made by Currys customers in-store. New and refurbished devices are then purchased using those funds. They can apply online or request a hard copy form by texting us.
Who buys the laptops? Do Currys donate the devices?
The laptops we provide are all funded by the generous donations made by Currys customers in-store. New and refurbished devices are then purchased from Currys at Currys Business prices using those funds.
How sustainable is the model? Are the devices refurbished?
We provide a mix of new and refurbished devices depending on how many refurbished devices are available from Currys at the time of purchase.
How do you choose the areas?
We chose the first five areas based on areas of high digital poverty in coastal and rural communities. These areas are less likely to see families able to even access support than those living in cities. We then expanded this year based on need, but we are limited to the areas we can expand to based on the donations coming from customers in stores.
Where have you seen the most demand?
Largest demand since expanding has been Northern Ireland with almost 1000 applications in the first few weeks of going live. Staffordshire and Wales are the next highest in demand.