Rochdale BID asks for donations of digital equipment for pupils in need

Date published: 20 January 2021

Following the closure of schools and colleges due to the national lockdown, Rochdale BID is asking for your unused equipment to help those pupils still in need.

Rochdale Town Centre Businesses Improvement District (BID) is keen to help the next generation of local entrepreneurs, business owners, key workers, and scientists as ‘everyone deserves a good education whatever the circumstances’.

Paul Ambrose, Business Improvement District Manager, said: “The quality of education in Rochdale is fantastic but we know that home schooling is particularly challenging for the most disadvantaged in our surrounding local communities who all too often fall on the wrong side of the digital divide.

“That is why we've decided to support local and national campaigns to re-purpose otherwise redundant laptops and tablets that sit unused in cupboards, drawers and under beds across Rochdale, so that they can be used to overcome persistent barriers to online learning, which is necessary to keep us all safe for the time being.”

The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has also called on businesses to support digitally excluded young people through financial donations to the Greater Manchester Tech Fund, and the donation of data packages and devices.

New analysis from Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has found that less than half of young learners in Greater Manchester in need of a device have so far been supported. GMCA estimates that the national programme may support up to 80,000 remote learners in Greater Manchester, but this will still leave 15,000-20,000 young people needing a device and data, including a large proportion of the 6,000 16-18-year-old college learners in the city-region who are estimated to be digitally excluded.

A donation of £300 can purchase a complete digital kit and data package bundle including access to the internet and a laptop or tablet for a digitally excluded young person in Greater Manchester and to enable them to continue their learning at home. 

Organisations currently supporting the Technology Fund include ANS Group, Auto Trader, The Prince’s Trust, Arup, and Business in the Community.

GMCA is also partnering with Business in the Community and The Prince's Trust to accept donations of technology devices and smart phones to be redistributed to young people through schools, colleges, and support workers.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “We know that there is a high percentage of young people across Greater Manchester who have become digitally excluded during this pandemic and their education has suffered.

“Although efforts have been made nationally to tackle the problem of digital exclusion for young people, there is still a lot more to do to bridge the gaps in support Greater Manchester’s young people. That’s why I am calling on our business community to support the Greater Manchester Technology Fund to help our most digitally-excluded young people stay connected and ensure all our young people have fair and equal access to learning and opportunity.”

Paul Ambrose continued: “We are happy to collect and we'll ensure any donated equipment is passed on to those school children who need it most. We will ensure any equipment is wiped back to factory settings as we know data security is of paramount concern.”

Should you wish to donate any equipment locally to Rochdale BID or if you have any queries, email:

Alternatively, through the ‘Winter in Rochdale – Digital Equipment’ scheme, Action Together is working closely with Digital Tech Library partners to also provide digital equipment to people in the Rochdale borough to help reduce digital poverty and promote digital inclusion for all. If you would like to donate no longer used digital equipment including laptops, mobile phones, tablets, and games consoles to Action Together, please:

Local BBC radio stations are also helping members of the public donate thousands of old laptops and tablets for schoolchildren to use across England, by once again running their ‘Give a Laptop’ campaign. For those pupils last year, who were sharing phones at home whilst learning in lockdown, it made a huge difference.

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