Providing ongoing support
Inexperienced recipients will need support to get the most out of their new devices, so aftercare is vital.
By the end of this step, you’ll be able to decide if your existing relationships with recipients are strong enough for you to manage the support process yourself or if you need to ask your community partner for help.
Many local organisations are already experienced in helping new users to get to grips with technology. They may already have ‘how to’ guides and other training resources. Other organisations may have limited or no IT skills but strong relationships with recipients which enable them to understand their needs. These organisations can learn how to support new users.
One of our community partners provided a ‘how to’ guide for users, including how to send a text and use key apps.
New users are likely to need significant support. However, even when things quieten down, it’s worth checking in periodically to make sure they are still able to connect.
One of our community partners provided ongoing support for users to encourage repeated use of new devices.
Option 1. Asking the community for help (partners)
Schools, libraries and community groups may be able to use their existing relationships and/or IT training skills to support recipients. If you are not sure where to start, The Good Things Foundation Online Centres Network provides people with the skills and confidence needed to access digital technology.
Some existing schemes (schools) provide technical support for families and ask their IT departments to fix any issues.
- They’ll already understand your recipients and their needs
- They may already have existing relationships which they can leverage for support
- You’ll need to be clear about what you expect from them
Option 2. Managing the process yourself
New users can need hand-holding until they’ve gained some experience. If you’re skilled in providing this type of support, and already have an existing relationship with your recipients, you may like to manage the support process yourself. If not, ask your partners for help.
- You’ll have more control over the support process
- You need experience in supporting new users
- You may lack understanding of recipients’ needs
- You may not have existing relationships with recipients
Things to think about
You may need to set-up devices remotely and provide all support from a distance. This could be challenging if your recipients are very inexperienced.
Each step in the process to transfer the device to the end user must comply with UK data protection law. If your organisation has any questions in relation to this, you are advised to seek legal advice.
Recipients may be unable to access the Terms of Engagement online. Providing them with a physical copy before they agree to participate is advisable, as this will allow you to secure their agreement before transferring ownership of any devices.
It takes time for new skills to bed in. Checking in on recipients will give them an opportunity to refresh their knowledge or ask about adding new apps.
Managing unsuitable donations (E-waste)
E-waste is a growing issue in the UK. It’s vital that we all dispose of unwanted or unusable items in an environmentally friendly way as they contain toxic components. By becoming a Rebooter, you can help reduce the number of devices sent to landfill.
Unfortunately, however strict your guidelines are, you will receive some items which aren’t fit for purpose. You therefore need to make sure these devices are disposed of in a way which is secure, safe and environmentally friendly.