MORE than £16,000 worth of computer equipment has been donated to nursery schools and charities thanks to a community project.

Networking group the Oxfordshire Project and the Happy Computer Company collected more than 17 broken PCs and laptops since the scheme was launched in autumn last year.

The computers, which were all about five years old, were then fixed and refurbished by Bharesh Mandalia from the Happy Computer Company in Witney before being donated.

The Oxford Nurseries, the Children’s House Nursery in Kidlington, and Bicester children’s charity Oxfordshire Playbus were among the organisations that received the donations.

The Oxford Nurseries, which has four nursery schools in Oxfordshire – in Summertown, Eynsham, Littlemore and Oxford Science Park – received four laptops.

Michelle Bowden, 25, deputy manager of The Oxford Nursery in Littlemore, which caters for children aged up to five, said: “We are really grateful for the donation.

“It has allowed all the children to access the Wifi and use the computer independently. As the younger ones get older, they will be able to use it too.”

Henrietta Usher, from the Children’s House Nursery, said: “Thanks to the Oxfordshire Project the youngsters at the Children’s House have the use of a brilliant computer system. We are grateful to be linked up to people who care about the community and are prepared to give their time freely and with such enthusiasm.”

Tym Soper, from the Oxfordshire Playbus, said: “The laptop has been great we are using it in the community centre as an internet access point in the community café.”

Ben Molyneux set up the Witney-based Oxfordshire Project in March 2012 and runs the company himself.

The aim of his company is to get businesses supporting each other and the community by offering networking opportunities and then encouraging businesses to take part in community projects.

It is supported by membership fees.

Mr Molyneux said: “We started asking people if they had broken computers and they started flooding in – it was quite amazing.

“Bharesh was giving up his free time to fix them.”

He said the scheme needs more working monitors, keyboards and mice.

Mr Mandalia founded the Witney-based Happy Computer Company eight years ago and he runs the company by himself.

The business provides IT support for home users including removing viruses from computers and training in how to use software and a computer.

He said: “The nurseries and charities have been really grateful.

“They all appreciate it because some of them don’t get any grants.

“Computers are expensive gadgets.”