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Greater Manchester plans digital support and app for care leavers

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The Greater Manchester Combined Authority has revealed plans to support digital inclusion among young people leaving care, along with the intention to launch an app to help them live independently.

It said it has worked with a number of young person’s charities to develop a package of support that includes access to free data connectivity for 12 months, devices and digital skills training.

A pilot of the scheme has taken place in Salford supported by the local council, GMCA, Good Things Foundation, Charity Foundation and Virgin Media O2.

This was able to support 48 care leavers in Salford, with 60% obtaining connectivity and 20% signing up for skills support. 61% were unaccompanied children seeking asylum.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “I’m delighted this initiative will be rolled out wider, after a successful pilot supporting care leavers in Salford with the skills, kit and connectivity needed to get online and benefit from the digital world. We know that young people leaving care are in need of support in this space which is why this work is so vital”.  

Reducing isolation

The app is being developed by GMCA with digital agency focusgov to help care leavers find information and advice, and to promote local events and activities to help reduce social isolation.

It will include a directory of local services providing support for young people and a feed of regional apprenticeship opportunities. Its content will be available in multiple languages.

GMCA said it expects to launch the app during National Care Leavers Week in October.

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