Business in the Community entrant – First Class Technologies
A Staffordshire IT company has donated hundreds of hours of staff time to refurbish laptops and tablets for people in need.
First Class Technologies has repurposed 250 devices to date and raised more than £2,000 for charity through fundraising events.
The Lichfield-based company has been nominated in the Business in the Community category of the Staffordshire University Business Awards by The Community Foundation for Staffordshire.
Faye Williams, Business Development Manager at the community foundation, said: “This is a great company supporting all manner of businesses, but especially schools and education establishments.
“Aside from the day job of IT support and Cloud services, this company has been helping The Community Foundation with Staffordshire County Council’s Donate IT scheme to benefit those who are digitally excluded and thus preventing isolation, helping with home learning, managing finances, shopping, job applications and health care.
“First Class restores equipment that has been donated through the scheme and has given hundreds of hours which is not part of its usual work but is doing this to benefit people in need in our communities.
“The services First Class Technologies provides to its customers are enabling future generations to be technically equipped for the dynamic world of employment.”
The company was founded in 1997 by Richard Hinton and currently has seven staff and an annual turnover of around £1million. It has been working with the community foundation for several years.
Richard said: “First Class take our social responsibility seriously and always look for opportunities to support the local community. We are conscious of the impact on all aspects of society, including economic, social and environmental.”
To date the company has repurposed around 250 tech devices, totalling around 175 working hours.
The laptops and tablets are cleaned, evaluated, restored to factory settings and repaired before being returned to Staffordshire County Council to be given out to needy families and voluntary groups.
In 2021 Richard and his team organised a classic car tour which took 70 cars on a route around Cannock Chase and raised more than £1,000 for The Community Foundation for Staffordshire. The event is being staged again in June.
A charity quiz in 2022, to mark the company’s 25th year of trading, also raised more than £1,000 for the community foundation.