Some Drop-ins Closed in August

Everyone needs a break, and so do Computer Friendly volunteers, so some, but not all, Drop-ins will be closed or partially closed during August The following lists all our Drop-in centres, with their address and opening days and times: the days when they are closed are clearly shown.

St Albans

Healthy HUB
Civic Centre, St Albans, AL1 3JE.
Wednesdays 9:30am-12:00noon

Marshalswick Baptist Free Church
Sherwood Avenue, St Albans, AL4 9QL.
Thursdays 1:30-4:00pm
Closed Thursday 18th and 25th August

Islamic Community Centre
145-147 Hatfield Road, St Albans, AL1 4JY.
Saturdays 2:00-4:30pm


We are closed in August.
New venue from September – As from  1st September our Harpenden Drop-In will be at the Queens Head Pub (formerly Skew Bridge), 59 Southdown Road, AL5 1PQ.
Thursdays 9:30am-12:30pm


The Spotted Dog, 8 High Street, Flamstead, AL3 8BS.
1st Wednesday of the month 10:00am-12:30pm

Do you get a buzz out of helping people?

Can you use an Apple iPad or Android tablet?

Why not give a bit of your time helping our students, mainly older people, to get online with their new tablets, either Android or Apple? We will help you get started to keep our ‘Starting Off With’ courses running in St Albans and Harpenden. The feedback we get from our students is great to read!

Click on Getting Involved and complete our Volunteer Enquiry form, or call our Courses helpline and they will put you in touch with our Volunteer Coordinator to discuss what is involved.

Ring 01727 617359 or email for more information!

Donate an Old Laptop

Tony Bourke delivering laptops to Boxmoor Primary School, Hemel Hempstead.

Nobody likes to throw away a laptop just because it’s old. That’s why many of us have one in the cupboard.

We take donated laptops to fix, upgrade and refurbish as best we can into Windows 10 laptops and CloudReady ChromeOS devices.

Schools then tell us what they need to keep their pupils online when they are isolating or working from home.

So what’s the secret? Well, a team of dedicated unpaid enthusiast volunteers, some new high speed memory drives (SSDs) and a lot of tinkering! We can even reuse many components from broken laptops: keyboards, screens, batteries, memory and power supplies are often interchangeable to prolong the life of another laptop. “Two become one”, as they say in the song.

How you can help us…

Go on! Bring us your old laptops and we’ll give them a new lease of life in the hands of the younger members of our society. (A few of the laptops are older than their users!)

As well as laptops, we can also reuse tablets and smartphones for schools and other supporting organisations as listed below.

Click <<here>> for our wish list of what we would like to receive.

To recycle your item, simply send an email to or phone us on 01727 617359.

Oh, if you are worried about any data left on your hard disk storage in your laptop, click <<here>> to see the shredder we used to destroy and recycle the old hard disks. All devices are wiped / factory reset.

The stats…

To date, we have delivered 405 devices made up of: 305 Laptops, 71 Tablets (58 iPads & 13 Android), 14 Desktops, 5 iMacs, 1 All-in-one PC screen, 1 Printer, 7 Smartphones.

These were delivered to 28 schools as well as Herts Police Domestic Violence team, Herts Leavers from Care, Luton Probation Service, Emmaus St Albans, Modern Victims of Slavery, The Vineyard, HAWA St Albans, Young People’s Support Team, Beds CC, Catholic Worker Farm, Watford.

That’s at least 833kg of equipment (nearly a tonne) that hasn’t ended up at the dump.

We estimate that between us we have saved 87,000kg of CO2 (yes, 87 tonnes!) from being created, that’s equivalent to 89 Return transatlantic flights (based on new laptop CO2 estimated by The Restart Project data).

Who have you helped so far?

Here are the names of some of those that benefited from your donations:

St Albans & Harpenden

Cunningham Hill Junior School Mandeville Primary St George’s
HAWA St Albans Manland School St Helen’s Primary
Herts Police Domestic Violence Margaret Wix Primary The Grove School
Katherine Warington School Redbourn Primary The King’s School
Killigrew Primary St Dominic Catholic Primary Beds Young People’s Support Team
London Colney Primary Sauncey Wood Wood End
St Helens CE Primary The Maple School Camp School
St Albans City Crabtree Junior Victims of Slavery Support
Aboyne Lodge Primary Luton Probation Service Emmaus St Albans
The Vineyard Church

Hatfield/Welwyn Garden City

Birchwood Avenue Primary St Michaels Woolmer Green Stanborough School
Green Lanes Primary St Johns Primary Tenterfield Nursery
Onslow St Audrey

Hemel Hempstead

Brockswood Primary and Nursery Leverstock Green Primary Chailden Infants School
Boxmoor Infants Catholic Worker Farm, Watford

Last year Herts Advertiser published a complimentary article about what we were doing. Click here to read the article, and what Cathy Longhurst, headteacher at Mandeville School, said about how we help their students.

Once again, to recycle your item, simply email or phone us on 01727 617359.

Bookable Drop-Ins have started again!

Where and when?

St Albans – St Pauls Church, Thursdays 9:30am to 12:30pm
Harpenden – 12 Southdown Road (Quaker Meeting House), Thursdays 9:45am to 12:15pm
Marshalswick Baptist Free Church , Thursdays 1.30pm to 4.30pm
Flamstead – The Spotted Dog, 1st Wednesday of the month 10:30am to 12:30 pm

How do I Book?

Phone: 01727 617359 Mon, Weds and Friday between 10am and 1pm
Leave a message at other times and we’ll call you back

Will it be safe?

We will be following Govt guidelines and more: Observing Social distancing. Everything (including devices) will be sanitized. Volunteers will be wearing masks. There will be Perspex screens. Volunteers will have had a recent negative Covid test result.

What problems can you help with?

Just about everything, but our bookers will ask for some details when you make your booking.

Can I just Drop In?

You may walk-in at these venues:

12 Southdown Road (Quaker Meeting House) Harpenden AL5 1PD
The Spotted Dog 8 High Street, Flamstead AL3 8B

However, please book a 30min slot for:

St Pauls Church Blandford Road, St Albans, AL1 4JP
Marshalswick Baptist Free Church Sherwood Avenue, St Albans AL4 9QL

[Edited for post 19th July 2021 changes]

Online Help, Advice and Courses

Computer Friendly want to continue helping you, even though we can’t meet you face to face at present. Please go to the Online Help page where we have collected some courses, tutorials and videos to help you get the best out of your device. During this time of isolation it’s important to stay in touch with family and friends: please go to our Staying in Touch page, for help on doing so online.



In line with Government recommendations Computer Friendly have cancelled all courses and drops-in until the recommendations regarding social distancing have been relaxed and it is safe for people to start congregating in small groups again. As an interim measure we are providing some limited phone in services from the people who run the regular drop in services. More details can be found here.

Heroes of Hertfordshire

Heroes of Hertfordshire

In addition to the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service we are delighted to have received a “Heroes of Hertfordshire” certificate from Robert Voss, Lord-Lieutenant, as thanks for the support we have given the people of Hertfordshire in recent times.