- The idea was simple enough. Unlike the mindset in developing countries, we here in the UK and Western world have a wasteful approach to our waste and property. We get bored, so even if something works our attitude is simply Change it and Bin it.
- Likewise with the Millions of computers being binned every year, the notion of computer reuse was simple. Suggest companies donate, not crush and thanks to the NHS that is how it started and has continued……
- Things do not happen overnight, as with seed it takes time. But encouragement does help, as did my then six year old daughter Clare encourage her Dad to stick with it and the concept of "CfC" crystallised.
- It started in the limited confines of a bungalow loft, before expanding into sheds, garages, barns and now dedicated workshops.
- 2009 witnessed major developments for the charity with the relocation of the charities workshop to accessible and much improved rented facilities in the town of Hailsham.
- Finally this move enabled the laying down of firm foundations to properly establish this truly pioneering and now global organisation, offering diverse guidance & support to Charities, Churches, NGOs and Governments worldwide.
- CfC has not been established to promote good works. Our standpoint remains of responding to the actual, rather than perceived needs of all enquirers wherever possible. (And not just with Computers or I.T)
- Everybody has a choice. It's either Yes or No, sticking your head in the sand or having a go. The world will tell you can't, it's not possible. But unless you try or take that first step as with a toddler. Nothing will change. It does not all work out, but keep trying
- My background is not IT. In 1977 I trained and became a Psychiatric nurse, it was the NHS that gave me access to college for I.T studies and provided the fore runner to CfC through my work.
- However the synergy for me is related to people not computers. Hence to the IT geeks please forgive me.
- In contrast many of our valiant volunteers and supporters view CfC as an IT nirvana, and the workshops an Aladdin's cave for all things I.T.
- My ethos and Vision remains strongly rooted to addressing the greater good by addressing solutions to aid people's needs. I.T offers access to a country, project and ultimately people.
- The focus remains broader looking at the wider picture to see what solutions maybe possible in addition to the task in hand. I.e. drinking water, education, humanitarian, aid and more.
"Why do you do it"
- I resigned from the NHS in September 1999. Letting go of a good and well paid job and pension to provide full time input as the Chairman and Trustee for CfC. A position without pay or remuneration which has required major life changes.
- Believe me, I am not rich, have no assets and paid the price for this decision through divorce, loss of family, home and by some ostracised. Who gives up a job to earn nothing? Whether home or abroad this response leaves most people dumbfounded
- However 16 years on, despite numerous ups and downs life and the work continues. Why?
- My life has not been without spot or blemish and today I am far from perfection. But when becoming a Christian in 1976, not only saved me from probably premature death but also altered my life. As a Christian I abhor religion and still get it wrong, believe me honest Christians do not have it sorted and those who are the real deal will say the same.
- If you are willing and prepared to surrender all, becoming a Christian will take you on a life journey, providing acceptance and peace whilst certainly changing your perspective and desires.
- Having done and tried many things in my youth including drugs, alcohol, pornography, fear and more. I can testify openly to having being released from such issues through faith.
- If you are sick you go to a doctor and likewise we seek God because we know we are unworthy.
- However because of the price Jesus paid for us. Whilst the world will say we are no good, condemn and judge. Jesus does not condemn but loves… Hence it was prostitutes, tax collectors and the unwashed he met and shared with then and today.
- Judgement awaits us all, we all have been given free will and it remains very much a matter of making the right choice.
- Personally and as an organisation we do not discriminate or make judgement, working and supporting all that seek assistance.
- To serve is my calling and the purpose for doing this thing.
CfC is not conventional. As previously stated there are no wages bills or plush offices, we operate totally through the generosity of donors with computers and other support, combined with our Volunteers of all ages and abilities. We seek to be good stewards of all things whilst affording true flexibility & diversity to enable real responses to culture, gender, belief, ability & disability.
What you see on this website represents only a sliver of a developing Vision that has thus far touched many continents and many thousands of lives. It comes from passion, belief, requires time, commitment, life changes and perseverance to stay the course.
It remains humbling and a privilege to have experienced the range of cultures and such diverse issues. From developing Prison workshops in the UK to experiencing the poverty and hardship faced in the African bush or slum areas of Mumbai and generally achieved without mainstream funding.
Thanks are due to the committed and varied expertise afforded by our volunteers which provide the backbone of CfC, in tandem with the continued support of Individuals and Companies through the provision of equipment, financial support and sponsorship make all you see happen.
It is thanks to readers like you that major inroads have been achieved during our relatively short history. The frustration remains of viewing global need on a daily occurrence compounded by limited resources and so much to do. If you have made it to the end, Well done and thank you.
Sheds, Garages, Barns, rental and leases... I believe the time has come to lay a permanent foundation for CfC. To that end sponsors & benefactors are needed to purchase premises to continue the work and support.
In 1994 I did not foresee the way ahead for Computers for Charities' Funding is needed to purchase and modify the current 5000sq feet workshop, rather than continue the current outflow of £40,000 rental each year.
Once achieved, it is hoped a vision of developing 5 regional bases (satellites) across the UK will be feasible, including investment into recycling and community needs.
Your help in spreading the name of Computers for Charities is invaluable. Within your company, college, etc. More working Computers are needed from servers to laptops, financial support to aid more inspirational development let alone the ongoing task of keeping the wheels turning. Plus as with our latest scheme needing used candles!
We are involved with Computers, but our key agenda is people. This you will see briefly from our web page "Our stories" For more information or how to help; please call T: 01323 848588 or drop me an email: Simon