Giving my old computer some TLC at GTT

“Giving my old computer some TLC” by GTT Volunteer, Vicky.

“With the help of the GTT Lab, I took apart my old computer, retrieved valued photographs and restored it to health!

It had laid abandoned behind the sofa for years – an old desktop with an outdated edition of Windows, gathering dust.

I was helped to repair it myself, this included unscrewing the back, blowing out the dust and ensuring things were able to work. It was the first time I’d ever looked inside a computer and there was a lot of dust in mine! “

Picture inside old dusty computer
Vicky’s old dusty computer


“Not only did I repair it, but I came away being able to identify the major parts inside and feeling like I’d learnt something. I truly believe that learning new things is so important for our wellbeing and confidence – at any age. I love the inclusive nature of GTT and their belief that anyone can learn with the right support.

My next mission is to update the operating system – with help of course.

Watch this space!! “

School of Metal Bashers needs your help

The School is a volunteers’ project based at the Beeston Skills Hub, Leeds. In 2016 the charity St. Vincent’s Support Leeds donated equipment to start us off.

Picture shows laptop donations being given to GTT

In 2017 GTT managed to get a small grant from the Leeds Fund #GiveLoveLeeds to develop a free training course to show people how to repair and upgrade their old computers.

Students opened up computers, took bits out, tested and replaced bits, put new software on them and tested them again. Not only did the students love it, the tutors did as well, and so did all our growing list of community partners who help promote the project and help put the word out to businesses to make any donations of redundant equipment.

Some businesses were very generous and we accumulated a lot of good equipment which we have salvaged with help of volunteer engineers.

Generous equipment donations stored at the GTT Lab

The GTT philosophy is to encourage everyone to get involved and participate: you will learn something new. Many of our students and volunteers have achieved a lot by repairing machines, setting up computer classrooms and helping local businesses with their IT problems. It has been a valuable experience where volunteers have shared their knowledge and worked together. Some refurbished computers have been sold on through the local SLATE charity shop in Hunslet, with profits being reinvested in new parts and equipment.

Volunteers are trained to PAT test equipment and given basic electrical and tool safety training.

GTT has Steve Thompson and Al Brown who are expert practitioners in Electronics and IT with Douglas Villegas who guides volunteer motivation and development.

We congratulate Alex, Omar and Rafal who have recently been successfully moving into technology jobs in the private and public sectors. They all contributed to setting up the GTT computer network, with a file server and networked printer offering students WiFi access too.

School of Metal Bashers

This cohort of volunteers – like the tutors that get involved to keep their skills up to date – have been so successful there is now a shortage of equipment to work on.

If you know anyone who can help us find donations of unwanted computers and laptops please contact GTT.

Pre-Windows XP computers may not be useable. Computers with Hard Drives are very welcome: GTT promises to wipe the data from them before they are used and installs new software onto recycled machines.

If you like the sound of what you hear and would like to be involved in the project please contact GTT.