Imagine providing a computer for every home in Greater Manchester and FREE OF CHARGE! If you find this hard to believe, then you wouldn’t be in the minority, most people wouldn’t believe it either. But this is exactly what a new company is trying to do.
Founded in March 2020, My Outsourced IT is a community project that aims to improve digital inclusion for people of all ages in Greater Manchester, by providing equipment, training, and support to those in need. They do this by collecting hardware donations and funding from those who can spare a device or the money, inviting applications for computers from people who need it, repurposing and repairing the hardware donations, and delivering them to families that require them the most. Approved by the Manchester City Council, they have to date outfitted more than 400 homes in Manchester, the North West, and beyond, with digital devices that would have otherwise be wastefully sitting in someone’s attic. In addition, they have also repaired more than 100 devices, free of charge, for families who could not afford to fix their malfunctioning machines.
The digital divide is the gap between people in society who have full access to digital technologies (such as the internet and computers) and those who do not. Concerns about the digital divide have been particularly acute during the COVID-19 pandemic as the internet and digital devices have played an important role in allowing people to access services, attend medical appointments and stay in touch with friends and family. With the lockdown still in effect for close to a year now, it is difficult to grasp what life must be like for homes without computers today, especially for the children in such homes. Not only are they unable to see friends, but many are struggling to adapt to home-schooling as some do not have access to computers outside of school. Children who don’t have access to a laptop or a place to study are now described as ‘vulnerable’. It is estimated that around one million more kids will be included in the new, wider category – around 9% of children in the UK.
My Outsourced IT is fully aware of this problem, and wants to help, by launching a new initiative to gather as many devices as possible and share them with homes in the Greater Manchester community. Andy Young, the project leader says the Greater Manchester project was set up to provide “laptops and computers to digitally excluded families via taking in donations and refurbishing them”. He also says donations are always gratefully accepted and can come in three different flavors: Time (helping with workshops or refurbishments, for example), Hardware, and Cash donations.
Interestingly, not only are they giving computers to homes, they are supporting the green mandate through their activities of repurposing old hardware. They believe that ‘Green’ is the way forward and with every computer that’s donated and fixed by them, they are off-setting carbon footprint. A win-win situation indeed! A family in need gets a repurposed device and the planet gets a little kindness. They try to incorporate as much green hardware and offset as much carbon footprint in everything they do, from packages on offer to upgrades and services.
For your donations, inquiries, and any other issue, you can check them out on My Outsourced IT, and see how you can work with them, especially if you live in Greater Manchester.
Company Name: My Outsourced IT
Contact Person: Andy Young
Email: Send Email
Phone: 0161 50 50 313
City: Greater Manchester
Country: United Kingdom