Can your business help with an emergency response to tackle the impacts of the digital divide?  

In 2019 Manchester City Council estimated 27,000 adults in Manchester as digitally excluded. In reality we know this number is in fact much higher with Greater Manchester Combined Authority having the 2020 headline figure for those digitally excluded across GM as 1.2 million people. 

New analysis from Greater Manchester Combine Authority has found that less than half of young learners in the city-region in need of a device have so far been supported. We also know through conversations with Manchester’s adult education providers that many adult learners are also without access to the internet and therefore unable to continue engage with learning and skills training initiatives as well as employment offers.  

Since May 2020 we have managed to support over 1,000 digitally excluded residents with access to the internet and skills support but there is still much more to be done. Our families are suffering from digital exclusion and we need to continue to collaborate and build our efforts on providing solutions to this challenging problem.  

If you are a business and would like to offer support to Manchester communities, there are a number of actions you can take –  

  • Donate data packages particularly sim cards, portable hotspots and dongles 
  • Donate new devices particularly laptops, Chromebooks and iPads  
  • Make a financial donation to enable the purchase of digital kit bundles 
  • Donate used devices which will be repurposed by Business in the Community 
  • Donated used smart phones in particular will be repurposed through the Community Calling project – a project developed in partnership with Hubbub and O2  
  • Volunteer time to become ‘learning coaches’ to train young people to use their new technology to access their lessons online
  • Volunteering time to become Digital Volunteers to support adults to use their new technology  

To support young people specifically you can do so through – The Greater Manchester Tech Fund – stating that you would like to offer your support to young people within the City of Manchester.  

To support other digitally excluded Manchester communities you can contact MCC’s Digital Inclusion Team at digitalinclusion@manchester.gov.uk

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