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Tees Valley community groups receive more than 100 laptops and tablets from Huawei to help ‘digitally excluded’

Huawei is to donate more than 100 laptops and tablets to homes in the Tees Valley as part of a drive to close the digital inclusion gap across the UK.

The global technology leader is to partner with Middlesbrough-based charity The Hope Foundation to distribute 30 new Huawei tablets and 75 refurbished laptops to organisations across the region.

The campaign to help people facing different challenges to get technological support and access the digital world is being supported by the Mayor of Tees Valley Ben Houchen, who will appear at a donation event at 2.30pm this afternoon with Huawei and The Hope Foundation at the Hope Foundation Café in Middlesbrough.

A spokesperson for Tees Valley Combined Authority said: “The pandemic has taught us all the importance of, and our reliance on, digital technology. The ability to connect to family and friends, shops and businesses as well as the wealth of support services that people rely on is critical. These laptops will make a real difference to those that are digitally excluded and will make a real positive impact to people’s lives across the Tees Valley.”

The devices will be distributed amongst the following community groups and charities:


  • Ageing Better Middlesbrough


  • Coatham House
  • Community Ventures LTD
  • Groundwork NE & Cumbria


  • Redcar & Cleveland Mind
  • Open Door North East
  • NHS Paediatrics & Diabetes


  • Recovery Connections
  • SFTV Hartlepool
  • Rekindle
  • Streets Ahead for Information
  • The Hope Foundation
  • Together Middlesbrough


  • Ubuntu Centre CIC
  • FurbdIT
  • IPC (Investing in People and Culture)


Sue Kearney, CEO of The Hope Foundation, said, “Here in the Tees Valley access to devices, connectivity and the appropriate digital skills is a real issue for local people. This support from Huawei enables us to get lap tops and tablets to those people who need them most. By distributing the devices, through our South Tees Digital partners, we are sure that the Huawei donations will make a real difference to local people’s lives. Other businesses and individuals can follow Huawei’s lead to make a difference by donating unwanted devices through our recycling platform”

In the last 12 months, Huawei has made a series of donations to communities in the North of England, including Manchester and Newcastle.

Victor Zhang, Huawei Global Vice-President, said: “If the UK is to meet its ambitions to level up the country, access to digital technology is going to be key not to mention acquiring basic technology skills.

“As part of our long-standing commitment to the UK, we are proud to play our part in closing the digital inclusion gap and feel a responsibility as a global technology leader to help charities like The Hope Foundation equip people and communities with the skills and equipment needed to make their way in the digital world.”

In Middlesbrough, during the first lock down when the clinically vulnerable were asked to shield, 72% of around 2,500 people supported through the Help Boro Hub (food parcels, collecting and delivering prescriptions etc.) didn’t have access to the internet at home.  This meant that they could not communicate with the outside world, were unable to contact their GP or do online shopping, while many were left lonely and isolated.