The Greater Manchester Technology Fund
In response to the increased cost of living in Britain and concerns around the impact of this on our poorest households, Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester has launched phase 3 of the Greater Manchester Technology Fund (GM Tech Fund).
What is the GM Tech Fund?
The Greater Manchester Technology Fund was established in 2020 as a regional emergency response to support students with their home learning whilst schools were closed during the pandemic lockdown. Through funding from public, private and community sectors we have been able to coordinate and respond to the evolving needs of schools and young people at pace. Since the launch, there have been three phases of the Technology Fund, drawing on sustainable models to contribute to the circular economy and as mechanism for businesses to repurpose their old tech. This model has helped support more than 3,537 young people to date in schools and colleges across all ten boroughs of the region.
The most recent phase of the GM Technology Fund identified the significant impact the pandemic had on students attending Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) schools and Pupil Referral Units (PRU). The aim of the third phase was to create a package of support tailored to address the specific needs of these students. This would include offering support with devices, connectivity, and digital skills.
“The students will LOVE the equipment. I was with our Digi student's week before last and they are having the time of their lives with the kit we have, and they are so creative. Honestly, they will use this in ways we haven’t even thought of!” Dr Shirley Woods-Gallagher, Executive Director of Commissioning at Newbridge Group.
"The laptops have been great for our pupils, we have some in use in school where pupils use them to support 1:1 learning, and we have provided 3 pupils with one to take home to enable them to access homework and this greatly improves their chances of success and raises aspirations as they did not have one of their own" Emma Stewart, Head of School at Thomas Ashton School.
How can you support it?
The Greater Manchester Technology Fund is another way that our businesses can contribute to the Greater Manchester effort to address digital and social exclusion and ensure local families have equal access to learning and opportunity, regardless of background or situation.
The Tech fund is now moving into a new phase. However, there are several ways businesses can support Greater Manchester residents:
- Donate devices to community settings across Greater Manchester
- Offer skills and career support for both teachers and young people
- Volunteer with GMCA through the GM Careers Hub team, to support young people to engage with future pathways, learn about careers and realise their potential
- Join the Greater Manchester Databank
Why is the Tech Fund important?
Listen to stories from across Greater Manchester, highlighting the importance of funds such as the Tech Fund.
Get Online Greater Manchester
Get Online Greater Manchester is a new landing page designed to help residents access local, regional and national support to get online and build digital skills.
Get Online GM brings together the support available for residents to get online from across all ten Greater Manchester Local Authority Area's and across the UK, into one place to help you find the right support for you.
TfGM donates IT equipment to Oldham school to support students at risk of digital exclusion (external website)
Local Authority Digital Inclusion Support
Residents can access support from their council to help them get online and develop digital skills