In an effort to bridge the digital divide, Oxford-based Asylum Welcome has launched an appeal for 500 digital devices to reach homes by Christmas.

The organisation seeks donations of redundant laptops, tablets, and smartphones which can be handed over at its Oxford office.

Digital devices can ease the challenge of building a new life far from home for asylum seekers.

Oxford Mail: The appeal is being made by Oxford-based Asylum WelcomeThe appeal is being made by Oxford-based Asylum Welcome (Image: Contributed)

Being equipped with a laptop or a smartphone makes a considerable difference in their lives.

The past two years saw the number of people that Asylum Welcome supports double, welcoming diverse groups from Ukraine to Sudan.

However, the demand continues to grow with an array of electronic devices already handed out.

Speaking on the necessity of digital inclusion, community liaison officer Iryna Linkevych said: "Since I've visited more than 80 Ukrainian families in Oxfordshire, I can say that many of them really need laptops, as they need to learn English online, look for a job, study different courses, and even have leisure time watching movies or cartoons with children."

In agreement is Asylum Welcome’s Youth Service Coordinator, Jess Beagant.

She said: "We have many unaccompanied children arriving in Oxford who have to wait months before they can start school or college.

"Having a laptop means that they can start online ESOL classes and practice their language and computer skills ahead of starting school so they do not feel left behind when they begin.

"It also means that they can contact family members and friends through social media which is so important."

Many asylum seekers rely on a £9 per week while living in temporary accommodation.

One client said: "The laptop has been great The laptop is a source of entertainment, warding off boredom and keeping me engaged.

"It really has helped me. Thank you."

Oxford Mail: People are being to asked to donate their laptops for asylum seekers

The Digital Inclusion Services of Asylum Welcome, bolstered by a grant from the Santander Foundation, now expands beyond providing digital devices.

It includes offering tuition to individuals of all ages and backgrounds and helping them connect with their communities—often their first digital experience.

One young beneficiary shared that he was not accustomed to using a laptop but could now engage with email, download apps, seek entertainment, and practice English exercises daily, thanks to the initiative.

The organisation remains humbled by the growing number of clients seeking assistance and their stories.

Although the rising demand has led to the temporary closure of the waiting list, this only serves to emphasise the urgency of the appeal.

Donations of laptops, tablets, and smartphones are welcomed.