Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has donated 2400 tablet computers to the city-region’s Tech Fund to support residents facing digital isolation.
The donated equipment will be distributed to support young people and families across Greater Manchester who do not have access to online services and digital technology.
The Greater Manchester Tech Fund was launched a during the coronavirus pandemic particularly to support young people without access to online learning while schools and colleges were closed. The GMP donation has been distributed across primary schools and local device lending libraries throughout all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester.
The Greater Manchester Tech Fund has so far been able to support a total of 3,527 people and 132 schools and colleges since it launched. However, recent ONS figures show up to 1.2 million residents of Greater Manchester are in some way excluded from opportunities of the digital world, either due to costs of devices and internet and mobile connections, or through lack of skills and confidence with new technology.
GMP Assistant Chief Constable Chris Sykes said:
“We are aware of the struggles families have faced throughout the pandemic, especially those without technology to access remote learning, which is why we’re so proud to support this positive initiative and help families in need.”
Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, has also launched a new ambition to equip all under-25s, over-75s and disabled people with the skills, connectivity and technology to get online. As part of the drive to reduce digital exclusion, residents and businesses across the borough are being urged to donate their unwanted devices.