A Forres charity that recycles computer equipment that not only saves it going to waste, but also provides essential tech for charitable causes and disadvantaged individuals has been recognised with the The King’s Award for Voluntary Service.
ReBOOT was established 26 years ago and the first of its type in the north of Scotland. The award is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.
Set up in 1997, the team refurbishes and recycles IT hardware it collects from businesses and households all across the north, including laptops and desktop computers, games consoles, printers, tablets, and monitors.
Kit that cannot be revamped is dismantled by volunteers, and the precious metals and rare earth minerals are extracted for use in new IT equipment, which can reduce the need for environmentally-harmful extraction from the earth.
ReBOOT’s primary remit is to donate the refurbished computers and equipment to charitable causes and disadvantaged individuals.
In 2008 it expanded to open a shop where staff and volunteers sell low-cost equipment to the public and carry out IT repairs, only charging a fee if the item can be fixed.
Despite having so much on their plate this year, the firm partnered with Moray Council and University of the Highlands and Islands, among other organisations, to offer work experience to school and college pupils, and all the while continuing with their ongoing work with the Criminal Justice Service.
The prestigious King’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities. Representatives of the groups will receive the award crystal and certificate.
ReBOOT manager, Lee McGrath, said “We are genuinely honoured to receive this award. Since starting as a pilot project, our volunteer team has totalled an average of 182,000 hours and handled over 2,200 tonnes of redundant computer equipment. Heartfelt thanks go out to all those amazing people who have offered their time to us over the years.”
Lord-Lieutenant of Moray, Seymour Monro said: “It’s fantastic news that an environmental organisation is the recipient of the King’s Award for Voluntary Service 2023, as we know His Majesty is a keen environmentalist.
“I’m delighted to congratulate all the staff and volunteers, past and present, at ReBOOT on achieving the King’s Award for Voluntary Service. They are truly remarkable and they deserve this award. This is an amazing achievement and reflects the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm of many people over the 26 years of this organisation.”