23rd June would have been Alan Turing’s 103rd Birthday.

Alan Turing was a British pioneering computer scientist, mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher and mathematical biologist. Famous for creating the enigma machine that broke the enigma code and helped to defeat the Germans in WWII.

Studying at the University of Manchester for many years, Alan Turing is one of the individuals who can be held responsible for the creation of the computers we all use today. There is a worldwide myth that Steve Jobs based his Apple company and logo on the apple Alan Turing was holding with a bite out of it when he was found collapsed on a park bench.

Alan Turing was a pioneer of his time, and we all use pieces of technology every day that have been born from his creations. Without him, you may not be reading this on screen today.

Many groups bring their community together by helping them to use modern technologies to contact family or just give them added skills in life.

One such group is Afro Som UK Media Group based in Moss Side in South Manchester.

The aims of Afro Som UK Media Group is to promote the well-being of refugees, asylum seekers and migrant people, especially of African Origin in Greater Manchester and elsewhere in the UK without distinction of political, religious or other opinions. They improve the lives of the Moss Side residents by enabling to make use of new technology. The residents are supported in the use of internet, email and other packages.

Forever Manchester helped to fund computers and Anti-Virus software for the group, which benefited them greatly.

The group have helped to increase skills and raise confidence and aspirations. The project created 40 brighter, more confident and outgoing young people and reassured their parents about their future in this country.

The group said: “From our own observation and following feedback from residents and the young people themselves, we have noted that the young people who attend such courses tend to develop good social behaviour, improved attitudes to learning and increased confidence and self-esteem. This seems to be because of the following factors:

“Our smaller and more intimate class sizes make the young people less shy to inform the teachers if they do not understand lessons and this makes them more participative through one-to-one support sessions that address their individual needs holistically and personal development activities. The latter will improve participants’ understanding of motivation and, therefore, help them find their own intrinsic motivation to raise their aspirations.

“Our closer teacher/parent relationship is apparent to the young people and fosters discipline in them as well as encouraging the parents to participate in their adult’s learning
We are able to motivate and encourage the participants to learn due to the fact that turos are of a similar cultural background and the young people see them as role models as well as experiencing a sense of community belonging.”

The project was a great success in the community, with many more asking for more courses to be done.

One member began to attend after his friend got a job with Tesco after being trained with Afro Som UK Media Group. He decided to do the project so that he could get a job. He was very excited when he had the training from the group and would like them to continue to provide such training.

Groups like this have helped young people integrate with society in a way they may not have before. Thanks to funding from Forever Manchester they were able to help individuals in the community to achieve goals and aspirations such as employment. This in turn improves their self-esteem as they’re in employment and working hard.

If you’d like to fund a group like Afro Som UK Media Group DONATE TODAY to help Forever Manchester to fund more groups like this one.