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18 October 23 Company news

Auto Trader support to help bridge the digital divide in Greater Manchester


Auto Trader has donated more than 100 devices to charity to tackle digital exclusion in Greater Manchester and help residents get online. The activity is the first of its kind and helps Auto Trader bring both its community values and net zero strategy to life.

The partnership came about after Auto Trader was connected with Community Computers as a potential volunteer opportunity. After reassessing its technology waste management approach - previously selling back to the supplier - Auto Trader recognised the opportunity and has now partnered with Community Computers to ensure the salvageable technology is reused by others. By extending the life of the technology used by the company, as well as helping those who might otherwise face digital exclusion, this new approach is more aligned with Auto Trader’s net zero strategy and community focus.

Since launch, Auto Trader and Community Computers have saved 363Kg of technical waste from going to landfill.

Providing technology to those digitally excluded is something close to our hearts. We would like to create opportunities for those less fortunate, at a time when there is a shortage of technology skills in industry. Our tech donations could have huge benefits to our local communities. Partnering with Community Computers has been extremely valuable - not only are we making a difference to promote digital inclusion, but we can repurpose our old tech efficiently through the charity. It saves staff time, as data destruction and auditing is all taken care of. This quick turnaround and reuse of our old devices meets our needs and also aligns with our NetZero goals.

Lee Skade, Enterprise Engineer at Auto Trader

We are thrilled to have Auto Trader on board with our vision. We’re passionate about tackling digital poverty and we work closely with our partners to signpost individuals to local services that can further support their digital skills and online journey. We look forward to developing the project and supporting more families in Greater Manchester to get online through these donations.

Chris Bennett, Project Manager at Community Computers

About Community Computers

Community Computers exists to tackle digital exclusion, unemployment and e-waste through repairing and refurbishing donated tech. Operated by a small team and supported by a volunteer group, they recycle and re-use donated IT equipment which allows them to provide fully refurbished and licensed devices into the community at low cost to tackle digital exclusion.

The project further allows them to provide IT work skills, training and employment to those on the project; particularly the long-term unemployed to support them back to work. They furthermore reduce the amount of e-waste going to landfill through recycling devices that are not reusable and ensure all hazardous materials are disposed of properly.

About Digital Exclusion in Greater Manchester

As many as 1.2m residents in Greater Manchester could be digitally excluded; it is estimated that 1 in 3 of those digitally excluded lack access to digital equipment. Not being able to get online means people can become more socially isolated and are less likely to access essential support services. There is a real digital divide – the need for low-cost and accessible, quality digital devices is greatest amongst those with limited financial means. Delivering a sustainable and reliable stream of equipment for residents to access allows households to access these services from their homes and tackle the digital divide.
“Our desktop stopped working and we needed a PC for the children to access their homework. All the contact from the schools is done online. Some homework could be done on a mobile phone, but most needed to be done on a tablet or PC.”

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