A quick look at who is behind this enterprising business
KEITH - Development Manager
After 10 years of teaching computer maintenance in colleges throughout West Yorkshire, Keith then started Airedale Computer Recycling over 10 years ago with Chrysalis Youth Project under the Intermediate Labour Market (ILM) Scheme to retrain long-term unemployed people. He trained the original technicians and developed the retail and marketing for the project.
As well as handling all the legislation, corporate business enquiries, purchasing and stock control, he conducts visits around the facility, arranges charitable donations to good causes, speaks at conferences, Chairs the Regional Electronics Initiative, does some mentoring for Business-Link, recently joined the board of directors for Voluntary Action Wakefield District and yet still makes time for the customers in the shop.
"The first computers we ever got for recycling came from the colleges I'd lectured at. Our first refubished computers were sold to my ex-students .....and then business really took off. We expanded rapidly to become one of the foremost charitable social enterprises in the region and we are lucky to have such a great bunch of guys working with us"
ALISTAIR - Chief Technician
Has a 1st Class Degree in Computer Technology and is our most qualified and experienced technician.
"After an injury forced me to quit as an olympic swimmer, I originally started here as a volunteer and was then employed to service a large computer maintenance contract. I now deal with the more complex computer repairs and the refurbishing of computers ready for sale in our shops. I'm the one with his head stuck in a computer in our corporate brochure"
PHIL - Technician
After a motorcycle accident made him physically unemployable for an extended period, he began volunteering one day a week, then two, then three, he proved he was capable of full time work again and when the opportunity arose, we of course employed the guy we'd just trained for the past year.
"I spend most of my time in the Castleford or Pontefract shops handling the day to day repairs and getting to know the many regulars we have. It's been an unexpected but very interesting career change for me".
IAN - Technician
After volunteering for us as a technician for six months, he was the ideal candidate when Russ left us to pursue other avenues. Ian now shares his time between the three shops and has proved to be a remarkably up to date technician.
"After a long period of unemployment, I finally got a job doing what I love doing best. Turns out I'm a natural at this stuff, does that make me a geek?"
JOHN - Technician
After volunteering with us for a short while this young man was employed as a techie when we took on the Pontefract shop. He has very impressive credentials with not just one but two university degrees to his name. He shares the task of building new and refurbished computers and doing repairs on customers computers.
"Thunderbirds had ended long before I was born so I really wasn't the role model for Brains"
JAMIE - Warehouse/Collections Manager
Part of the furniture. He's been with us since day one and was our first trainee. We employed him as soon as he'd finished training. He now knows the whole business inside out. Jamie arranges all the computer collections, the sorting and recycling, the data secuty on all incoming equipment and the trade sales. He's also the one in charge of the Ebay store. His spelling might be terrible but he's got 99.9% great feedback. Jamie has picked up quite a few qualifications during his time with us.
"Airedale Computers gave me a job right at the start of the project and I've enjoyed helping to make it what it is today. In return, it's enabled me to make a decent life for me and my son Jaques".
RICHARD - Our driver.
Our new driver joined us on the staff in January 2013 after volunteering with us for a while
Nathan - Apprentice Technician
NEW - more to come
Zack - Apprentice Technician
Ryan G - Apprentice Technician
Ryan H - Apprentice Technician
Andy - Apprentice Technician
Not forgetting our past volunteers who gave up their time to help our project
Dave - Technician
Volunteered with us for 3 months and now employed under the Futures Job Fund as a technician. He spends most of his time working on laptops in both the shop and the warehouse and helping out wherever he's needed. That means he's kept quite busy."After only making it as far as Boot Camp on the first X-Factor, I needed a total change of direction, so I ran a pub for a while and now here I am changing direction again. Smiling for Simon Cowell, smiling for pub customers and now smiling for the customers at Airedale - Will I ever frown again?"
ASHLEY - Retail Assistant
Employed under the Futures Job Fund, Ash works mainly in the Castleford shop and is in charge of keeping the shop spick and span and the stock up to date and presented well. A likable young chap who says "Peachy" far too often."I'm not a technician, so to get to work with computers and help people with their purchases and computer problems really is just peachy"
ADAM - VOLUNTEER - Now works for Fujitsu
He'd been volunteering his time several days a week with us for 12 months after being made redundant. He made himself a valuable part of the team at Airedale and was quite popular with our customers in the shop as well as with our work experience trainees. He has now got a good full time job with Fujitsu-Siemens. Well done Adam."Working at Airedale Computer Recycling as a volunteer, gave me the experience needed to advance myself and has helped me regain my self confidence. It is a great place to work. Thank you."
KELVIN - Now works for Fujitsu
Volunteered with us from May 2011 to February 2012 and like many others, this led to full time employment within the industry. "I worked in the warehouse for nine months learning all aspects of computers and I was there when a job came up at Fujitsu. Right place, right time".
DAVE P - Now works for a computer repair shop in Wakefield
Volunteered with us for almost a year and then was offered a great position running a computer shop, repairing computers and laptops and ordering all the parts and stock. "Working just one day a week to start and then 3 days a week alongside the technicians in the Airedale workbench and serving customers in the shop gave me the experience to take on the role running a shop"
....and many more people who give up their time freely or come on placements through training centres or job centres
If you want to know more about volunteering for charity see our section on VOLUNTEERING
And of course, our work experience students
A different bunch every 2 weeks from all our local schools. We give them a taste of real work in a real working environment. If they work hard they can earn a certificate to take back to school. They also take back that unique experience of having helped a local charity.
Some students learn the technical skills of computer repairs and refurbishing, some learn about manual labour by demanufacturing computers and recycling, others just learn life skills and what it means to have a job, that of course includes the occasional fetching of the bucket of steam, collecting sky hooks and locating the obligatory left handed monkey wrench. Like I said..... real work experience!
If you want to know more about work experience see our section on WORK EXPERIENCE
Airedale Computer Recycling can be found at our main facility at The Active Centre, Stansfield Road, Airedale, Castleford, WF10 3AS. Tel: (01977) 736283 or at our Castleford retail shop at 76a Carlton Street, Castleford, WF10 7DB. Tel: (01977) 520149.