With recent data showing 806,500 of residents in Greater Manchester face some form of digital exclusion, a new resource has been produced by Greater Manchester Combined Authority in partnership with local organisations and community groups, identifying where residents can go to find support in accessing devices, connectivity to get online, and digital skills training.
The Greater Manchester Resident Survey, July 2023, highlighted 16% of households in Greater Manchester have someone who is not confident in using digital services online and 44% of over 75s and 28% of disabled people know someone who’s not confident using digital services online. Data from the survey also showed that 1 in 7 respondents say that they, or someone in their household, use digital services, but they want to use it more and grow in confidence.
With an extensive and ever-growing list of organisations and community groups providing digital inclusion support across the city-region, for free or at a low cost, the Get Online Greater Manchester: Digital Skills Map is an interactive map bringing digital support offerings together, into one place, for our people to view and find out more. The map can support professionals, family and friends, in signposting someone they know who may be struggling to get online, or would benefit from improved digital skills. Residents themselves can also access the tool to find digital support on offer. Support identified on the map includes Greater Manchester Databanks, centres offering access to computers and the internet and various digital skills sessions.
The map has been launched during Get Online Week, and as part of Greater Manchester’s Digitober campaign, highlighting the importance and the need to support people to get online and be digitally active.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester said “Everyone, regardless of age, background or situation should be able to participate equally in life, education, and access health services. In today’s digital age the reality is that, to do so, people need to be online and have the appropriate support to get online.
“Get Online Greater Manchester: Digital Skills Map has been created to help people across the city-region find a local place they can go to learn essential digital skills, get support to get online, or to get connected like through the Greater Manchester Databank. If Greater Manchester is truly going to be a world leading digital city-region, we have to make a big commitment to fix the digital divide.”
A lack of digital access and skills can have huge negative impact on a person’s life, leading to increased loneliness and social isolation, less access to jobs and education, which both in turn are associated with poorer health outcomes and a lower life expectancy and financial exclusion.
Article Published: 20/10/2023 09:09 AM