Used computers are being given a new lease of life in a recycling scheme which is giving West Midlands charities a megabyte boost.

Coventry University has teamed up with Birmingham-based Pertemps People Development Group (PPDG) to distribute more than 160 recycled computers to organisations including those helping the homeless, refugees, women suffering domestic violence and Aids victims.

The scheme is being coordinated by PPDG employment coach Darren Hales and the university's procurement and administration officer, Sophie Morson.

Sophie said: "We have a rolling programme to replace every computer that is over four years old with a new computer. If we can't find a new home for the old PC within the university then we are left with a surplus of aging equipment.

"The hard drives are completely wiped and the computers are cleaned before they are donated to a charity.

"It has been of great benefit to work with Pertemps People Development Group because they have been able to contact a wide range of charitable organisations and establish whether there is a need for our surplus computers. They really understand what the recycling scheme is all about and by working together we have been able to help a lot of charities across the West Midlands."

Darren also said: "The computer recycling scheme is working really well. We have distributed more than 100 computers so far. They have been donated to projects, charities and voluntary organisations which are all engaging with our inner city communities.

"They range from an inner city school to a refugee project, a heritage project and another organisation helping people who are terminally ill.

"We have donated ten computers to The Fireside Centre, an initiative that provides a drop-in centre for homeless people. We expect the computers to provide homeless people with a means of keeping in touch by email with their friends and relatives across the country."

Darren added: "We still have more than 50 computers to distribute and we are working hard to identify other voluntary organisations or charities that might be able to benefit from the initiative."

Groups that have received recycled equipment also include the Roshni Women's Refuge, Create Community Arts, the Impact Development Trust, the Zimbabwe Women's Partnership, the Catholic Youth Partnership, and the Federation of Irish Societies.