My name is Andy, and I am the founder of My Outsourced IT, launched with the vision to equip every disadvantaged home in Manchester & beyond, with a free laptop, desktop, or tablet to ensure no family is digitally excluded.
As the Coronavirus adage goes, we are indeed in the same storm but not all of us are in the same boat; some of us are on super-yachts, some on rafts, and others have just the one oar. We need each other’s support to stay afloat. Although the digital divide has always prevailed, its effects have become more pronounced during the pandemic.
Here are some quick statistics:
- 88% of teachers believe that students are falling behind due to a lack of access to online learning. (Chartered College of Teaching)
- Only 23% of children are taking part in live or recorded online lessons every day, but middle-class children are engaging significantly more (30%) than working-class children (16%). (The Sutton Trust)
- A survey in April 2020 with over 7,000 teachers found that 15% of teachers in the most deprived schools said that more than a third of their students would not have adequate access to an electronic device for home learning. (The Sutton Trust)
- An Ofcom survey from Jan–March 2020 found that 9% of households containing children in the UK did not have home access to a laptop, desktop PC, or tablet.
My Outsourced IT endeavours to bridge the digital divide by collecting hardware donations and cash from those who can afford it, repurposing received devices, and taking it to the homes of those who desperately need a laptop, PC, or tablet. By doing this, we are not only empowering one more home but contributing towards reducing our carbon emissions. We truly believe that Green, carbon off-set computing has to be the future.
I started this community project as a tribute to my late parents, with just £5k in hand. The journey began when I stumbled upon a family with 4 children contending with a single phone. My initial capital went towards purchasing second-hand laptops via Facebook, eBay, and such platforms and donating them to families. I discovered families in need through schools and other organisations. The £5k didn’t last long. My Outsourced IT has since been operating on donations that we use for delivering computers, buying parts, and monthly operating costs.
We cannot weather this storm alone; we need your support.
If you can dust off those electronic devices lying in your attic, or can spare a cash donation, please reach out to us here.