A North West charity is aiming to equip every disadvantaged home with a free laptop, desktop or tablet.
Founded in March 2020, during the initial outbreak of COVID-19, My Outsourced IT have to date outfitted more than 400 homes in Manchester, the North West and beyond, with digital devices that would have otherwise been wastefully sitting in someone’s attic or spare room.
In addition, they have also repaired more than 100 devices, free of charge, for families who could not afford to fix their malfunctioning machines.
Approved by the Manchester City Council, My Outsourced IT is a community project that aims to improve digital inclusion for people of all ages in Greater Manchester, by providing equipment, training, and support to those in need.
They do this by collecting hardware donations and funding from those who can spare a device or the money, inviting applications for computers from people who need it, repurposing and repairing the hardware donations, and delivering them to families that require them the most.
My Outsourced IT Founder, Andy said “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.”
“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.”
The charity is also clearly environmentally friendly too. By repurposing old hardware, they are also supporting the green mandate. ‘Green’ is the way forward and with every computer that’s donated and fixed, they are off-setting carbon footprint. This initiative means a family in need gets a repurposed device and the planet benefits too.
Andy continued “We try to incorporate as much green hardware and offset as much carbon footprint in everything we do, from packages on offer to upgrades and services.”
The charity cannot weather this storm alone; they need your support. If you can dust off those electronic devices lying in your attic, or can spare a cash donation, please reach out here.