The Manchester Digital Collective – powered by Lifeshare

Who are we?

Manchester Digital Collective, was formed in 2020 prior to the height of the pandemic. Connectivity was becoming a more pressing issue as clients were presenting to us without access to any sorts of device, meaning our frontline workers were unable to keep in contact with them.

Jamie, our Chairman, alongside our Operations Director and Trustees formed a plan to tackle this and so the MDC was formed! Since the start, we’ve grown to 17 members, have over 300 devices ready to distribute to those who require support and have distributed over 250 devices to those in need so far.

We focus on four key areas:

  1. Devices
  2. Internet
  3. Learning
  4. Awareness

As we’re growing in scope, we’re working toward a future in which devices are readily available to all, where the internet is free for all to use. It’s pretty straightforward, and not a lot to ask for, right?

How you can get involved with the Manchester Digital Collective

As we’re building on our mission to tackle digital exclusion, we’re also increasing the number of ways people can get involved! 

Donating unused devices

We recently found out a statistic that blew our minds, in the UK, for every one phone in use, four sit unused! We happily take all sorts of device donations from phones to tablets to e-readers and desktop PCs.

There are some key items which are really handy for our clients:

  • Smartphones

Many of us tend to take for granted the fact we have access to any sorts of information at the click of a button. However, for others, it’s not as easy. 

When we give a smartphone to a person in need, it opens up a whole range of opportunities for them; they can keep in touch with their support workers, check the opening times of support services, and give their friends and family a quick call to say hello!

  • Tablets

Our clients tend to live in uncertain housing situations and in some cases, might not have access to all of their personal possessions when they need them.

A tablet is nifty; clients can hotspot to their Wi-Fi to access the internet to complete any online courses they might be enrolled on, fill in any application forms or just sit back and watch a movie online. Once they’re done, they can pack them away with their belongings and head out on the move again.

  • Laptops

Laptops are perfect for our more settled clients who have a space of their own. Like a tablet, it’s pretty handy for all things online; watching some YouTube, accessing Manchester Moves, booking GP appointments and doing their weekly shop!

We also accept desktop PCs, monitors and screens as well as servers.

If you have any unused devices laying around, please consider donating them to the Manchester Digital Collective.

You can drop them off at our Lifeshare office, at our partner office in Manchester City Centre, or we can even arrange for them to be collected! 

By donating your unused devices, you’re helping cut down on eWaste by giving it a second life, while also helping tackle the digital divide as your device will go to someone in need. If we can’t refurbish your device, we’ll make sure it goes to one of our recycling partners.

As soon as we receive your donation, it is inventoried and tagged for asset tracking.
We wipe any personal data in accordance with GDPR.

manchester digital collective device collection system

Volunteering your time

We know everyone’s time is valuable and we appreciate any support you can provide.

  • We’re on the lookout for individuals with a creative edge, if you have a couple of hours to spare to support us in creating content for our website then please do let us know.
  • If you’re tech savvy and want to lend a hand with refurbishing devices, we’d really appreciate that! You would be spending a few hours on an ad hoc basis with our Tech Lead tinkering with all sorts of things!
  • We also run ‘digital skills’ classes with a range of partners within Manchester. We teach people how to use their devices, access the internet, create email addresses amongst other things! If you’re a people’s person, patient and want to tackle the digital divide, we’d love to have you take part.

Head here to fill in our volunteer form and we’ll be in contact!

Monetary donations

You can donate a couple of quid here to support the Manchester Digital Collective.  £5 allows us to clean and distribute a phone, £7 for a tablet and £10 for a laptop!

Every little helps and gets us one step closer to tackling the digital divide by ensuring everyone we work with has equal and opportunity to the life changing benefits a device can provide.

If you have any questions about what we do, or would like to chat about all things digital inclusion then please drop us a message!