The Mayor of Wolverhampton has thanked charities and community groups for helping break down the barriers some people face in getting online and accessing digital services.

Mayor Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre hosted an event in the City Suite at the Civic Centre to celebrate the work of trusted partners supporting the city’s ambition of getting 100% of Wolverhampton residents online.

Since 2020, the city led Digital Wolves initiative has been helping those without devices to access equipment and connectivity. 

With the help of its network of partners, Digital Wolves has already distributed more than 3,000 loaned and gifted devices with over 7,000 residents given support to improve their digital skills helping them gain employment, manage finances or even just stay connected with loved ones.

Digital Wolves also accepts donated devices from residents and businesses, and more than 460 devices have been recycled and distributed to children and young people across the city to help them get online and support their education.  

A network of what started out as 7 partners has now grown to more than 70 community and charity organisations. 

Mayor Councillor Hardacre said: “Access to devices, connectivity and skills are essential in helping our residents gain access to services.

“There is a clear divide in Wolverhampton between those who have access and those who have not, and all of our trusted partners have worked incredibly hard to help us bridge that divide.

“They have helped distribute over 3,000 devices and more than 7,000 residents have been supported to improve their digital skills. This is a tremendous achievement. 

“It is vital this success now continues and is extended.” 

Councillor Obaida Ahmed, the City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for Digital and Community Inclusion, said: “We are increasingly living in a digital world at a time when not everyone has access to the equipment or has the knowledge to be able to get online.

“The event, hosted by the Mayor, provided an opportunity to thank the many community organisations for their support in helping us to achieve our target of getting 100% of our residents online.”

Donated devices are recycled through the Wolves Tech Aid initiative and then distributed to help eliminate the inequality of access to digital education within the home for families across the city. 

The scheme has saved 87 tonnes of CO2 so far and that saving rises with each device.

Donate your unwanted devices via Wolves Tech Aid. Find out more about digital inclusion and opportunities at Digital Wolves