Bookable Drop-Ins are starting again!


Thursdays from July 1st


St Albans – St Pauls Church,
Harpenden – 12 Southdown Road (Quaker Meeting House),
Marshalswick Baptist Free Church (TBC),
Flamstead – The Spotted Dog (TBC),

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?

No. For the moment you must book a 30min slot – we cannot accept walk-ins.

St Pauls Church Blandford Road, St Albans, AL1 4JP
Marshalswick Baptist Free Church Sherwood Avenue, St Albans AL4 9QL
12 Southdown Road (Quaker Meeting House) Harpenden AL5 1PD
The Spotted Dog 8 High Street, Flamstead AL3 8B

Donate an Old Laptop

Tony Bourke delivering laptops to Onslow St Audrey’s School, Hatfield

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

What if we told you there are hundreds of school kids crying out for a laptop? No surprise, right.

But what if we told you that those same school kids could use your old laptop? That’s a real surprise!

Computer Friendly has provided over 200 laptops to schools in the first 10 weeks of 2021 alone and we have just made 100 devices more ready-to-go!

We take donated laptops to fix, upgrade and refurbish as best we can into Windows 10 laptops and CloudReady ChromeOS devices. Schools choose the types they need to keep their pupils online during lockdown and beyond.

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 in hospitals, vaccination centres and care homes.

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…

Reuse / recycling is good for the environment. As of 16th March 2021 Computer Friendly have

Laptops iPads Tablets Smartphones Desktops
Received: 451  77 38 38 12
Passed on: 224  17 0  1 12
Ready to go: 47  36 28 10 0

That’s at least 670kg of equipment (⅔ tonne) that hasn’t ended up at the dump.

We estimate that between us we have saved 72,000kg of CO2 (yes, 72 tonnes!) from being created (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

Hatfield/Welwyn Garden City

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

On 8 February, 2021 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.

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.

Coronavirus Temporary Measures

Having issues with your technology?
We will try to help, by email or over the phone
Email  or call 01727 617359  Mon, Wed or Fri; 10.00am – 1.00pm or leave a message

Computer Friendly during COVID

What have Computer Friendly done during COVID restrictions?

2020 was a challenging year in so many ways. Computer Friendly had to adapt nearly everything we did to be able to support those who were in need, isolated and vulnerable.

  • Helped 93 people over the phone or via email to resolve their device issues.
  • Gave away over 65 free Laptops, Tablets and Smartphones.
  • Supported Herts Leavers from Care; Herts Refugees; Herts Carers; MIND in Mid Herts people with mental health issues, and some people who have suffered abuse and domestic violence.
  • Ran our first few courses/workshop online (via Zoom) on Excel, Word and Zoom, and we have 5 more courses and workshops starting soon.
  • Started a trial of a Covid safe Drop-in at the Quaker Meeting House, Harpenden, although we’ve had to pause it due to Lockdown.
  • Started work on a new website and a review of our client database system.
  • Recycling donated laptops over the summer proved very beneficial to some isolated families and now we have 5 volunteers involved in data cleansing and upgrading old laptops.

The Office of The Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire has complimented us for our efforts, “ You really were and continue to be worthy of the Queens Award for Voluntary Service”.