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CASE STUDY: Residents in poverty supported with at home connectivity

The North Manchester Community Partnership (NMCP), based in Cheetham Hill, is a unique collaboration of community groups and larger third sector groups, housing associations, health services and family services.

Working in 8 of the most culturally diverse wards that appear in the top 20% of deprived wards in North Manchester (according to the Index of Deprivation 2015), the NMCP deliver 10 outreach sessions offering Work Club activities, Benefits Advice Service, Digital Skills Training, Accredited online training, support for job seekers, volunteering opportunities and confidence building with access to community-led activities i.e. Crafts, befriending, gardening, self-help groups. 

In February 2022 through the Greater Manchester Databank, part of the National Databank from Good Things Foundation and Virgin media O2, the NMCP successfully became a Digital Inclusion Hub for local residents, providing SIM’s and mobile data (as well as calls and talk minutes and texts) to residents who can’t afford to stay connected. 

Joshua, 60 years old, is a job seeker from Charlestown in Manchester. He is actively looking for work but due to low income, he is unable to access the internet at home. 

Josh says “I don’t want to sign a contract for a long period. I’m on a low income and paid only every two weeks so I can’t afford to be online at home, especially with the cost of other bills at the moment.” 

Supported by the NMCP’s Digital Inclusion Hub, Joshua was able to obtain a SIM supplying him with up to 12 months of free data, talk minutes and texts. 

Now Joshua searches for employment opportunities at home. As well as job hunting, Joshua is on social media and can now keep in touch with his friends and family online. This connectivity has proven invaluable to Josh. Living alone the connectivity at home has helped him to feel less isolated and is allowing him to do activities he was unable to do from home before - Joshua now does his banking online and tracks his outgoings, which he finds important as the cost of living is still on the rise. 

With his SIM, Josh is also able to take advantage of unlimited calls which have been a great benefit when he is on the phone with public services or contacting his GP. 

The National Databank is a 'food bank for connectivity data’ helping thousands of vulnerable people to get connected by giving community groups and charities access to free data. The Databank allows organisations to provide free SIMS and mobile data (as well as talk minutes and texts) to residents in need via Good Things Foundation’s network of Digital Inclusion Hubs. 

The Greater Manchester Databank draws down this available data from the National Databank to enable registered community organisations across Greater Manchester to support residents locally with a free SIM and mobile data. 

Read more on the Greater Manchester Databank

Article Published: 21/03/2023 11:04 AM