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New pilot launched to address digital poverty for care leavers in Salford

Care leavers digital inclusion pilot

The pilot, which is now live in Salford, has supported 48 care leavers with a comprehensive package of support including access to free data for 12 months, free devices through the Salford Council device donation scheme and free digital skills training to support them to build their skills and confidence online.

The pilot is being delivered as a partnership between Salford City Council, GMCA, Good Things FoundationSalford Foundation and Virgin Media O2. With the free data being donated through the National Databank, set up by Good Things Foundation and Virgin Media O2. 

Upon success of the pilot 60% have been successfully supported with connectivity, and 20% signing up for additional skills support.

61% of those supported were unaccompanied asylum seeking children, highlighting the level of support needed for vulnerable young people facing disadvantage within Greater Manchester. The scheme will now continue to be an offer for all care leavers in Salford going forward.

The collaboration of services with National Databank, Salford Council, Salford Foundation and Skills City has facilitated the success of this scheme.

A Salford resident who benefited from this pilot said “I’m really grateful for being provided with the SIM card.  At a time when I have been struggling for money, this is a real help and allows me to keep in contact with my friends, family and services.”

The scheme is now being shared by Salford Council to the remaining local authorities across Greater Manchester to support with the same access to the offer of kit, connectivity and skills for all care leavers.

In May of 2021, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham announced his ambitions for Greater Manchester to become one of the first city regions in the world to equip all under 25s, over 75s and disabled people with the connectivity, skills and technology needed to get online.

After such a successful pilot Andy Burnham said, “I’m delighted this initiative will be rolled out wider, after a successful pilot supporting care leavers in Salford with the skills, kit and connectivity needed to get online and benefit from the digital world.”

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About the author

Digital Everyone

The Digital Everyone project is part of Salford’s aim to become a Digital City, an ambition which forms part of our wider vision for a better, fairer Salford to improve resident’s lives.

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