Digitally excluded young learners benefit from digital kit donations

Date published: 16 February 2021


Following the launch of the Greater Manchester Technology Fund, 638 disadvantaged young learners from across Greater Manchester - including students from Hopwood Hall College - have received the digital kit needed to continue their learning at home.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham launched phase two of the Greater Manchester Technology Fund in January, as an emergency response to support young people at risk of digital exclusion to continue their education and positively engage in their communities whilst schools and colleges remain closed.

The digital kit bundles are provided to schools and colleges to directly manage and distribute to those students with the highest need. A ‘digital kit bundle’ includes a laptop or tablet and the required tools to get online.

Since phase two of the GM Tech Fund launched 131 schools and colleges have registered urgent need of support for over 13,200 students across Greater Manchester.

Julia Heap, Principal and CEO at Hopwood Hall College, said: “We are so grateful to have received these laptops from Boohoo as part of the GM Tech Fund. This initiative benefits those students who need it most and is vital in helping us to bridge the digital divide caused by lockdown.

“Our goal is to always ensure our learners reach their full potential, and this equipment will play a huge part in making sure this continues to happen.”

Organisations who have already supported the GM Tech Fund include Ao, Huawei, One Manchester, Boohoo, One Consulting, Irwell Consulting, 18 St John Street Chambers and Arup Group through the donation of new and used technology and financial donations to purchase the technology needed for young people to continue their learning from home.

To date, the GM Tech Fund has raised £260,100 in donations of funds, new tech data packages and used device donations.

Businesses are being asked to support the fund by: 

  • Donating used working devices which will be repurposed by Business in the Community
  • Donating data packages particularly sim cards, portable hotspots, dongles and other connectivity devices 
  • Donating new devices particularly laptops, Chromebooks and iPads 
  • Making a financial donation to enable the purchase of digital kit bundles

The GM Tech Fund is working in partnership with national charity, Business in the Community to accept donations of used technology devices and smart phones to be redistributed to young people through schools, colleges, and support workers.

You can find out more about the GM Tech Fund by visiting www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/GMTF

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