Vodafone Connects Over 125,000 People Living in Digital Poverty
Monday 20 December 2021, UK: Vodafone has today announced it has connected over 125,000 people living in digital poverty following a research showing 1.5m households, or approximately 6% of the UK population, live without internet access1. The accomplishment is part of a commitment to connect one million people living in digital exclusion by the end of 2022.
To mark the achievement, radio host and TV presenter Roman Kemp has visited some of the organisations and people impacted, to highlight why tackling digital exclusion is so vital.
Vodafone has initiated a range of activities to help tackle digital inequality, including its Great British Tech Appeal with Barnardo’s; ‘Buy One, Give One’ with Vodafone Together and the Trussell Trust2; and charities.connected, which gives every registered charity the opportunity to apply for free connectivity to improve its digital capability or help the individuals and families it supports to get online.
Vodafone’s Christmas campaign is focused on tackling digital exclusion and calls on the UK to give The Gift of Connection and to help those living in digital poverty by donating old devices. Vodafone will add six months of free connectivity and, with charity partner Barnardo’s, redistribute them to young people and families who need them. Part of the initiative, fronted by Roman Kemp, includes a campaign to return Boxing Day to its original purpose, a day of giving. The campaign follows research that suggests British households are sitting on more than £20 billion of unused tech3.
Ahmed Essam, Vodafone UK CEO, said:
“Connectivity isn’t a luxury these days, it’s an essential, which is why we’ve put tackling digital exclusion at the very heart of our business. I’m delighted that – with the help of our partners, customers, employees and the public – we’ve already connected 100,000 people. A huge thank you to everyone who has donated tech, signed up for Vodafone Together or applied to charities.connected so far. And if you’ve not already done so, please get involved! We have much more to do – but together, we can tackle digital exclusion.”
Rahima from Birmingham after receiving a tablet via Tech Appeal, added:
“I was in the first lockdown with my first child and as I finished my maternity leave I found it difficult to get back into work. My self-esteem was low and my anxiety was high. It was really hard to stay connected as I didn’t have the technology to do so.
“I reached out to a support worker at Barnardo’s who told me about the Tech Appeal who suggested I apply. It felt like in no time at all she was dropping off the tablet and I’ve not looked back. It’s helped me complete courses online which I was having trouble accessing on my phone.
"I’ve now been able to add those qualifications to my CV which I hope will help me find a better job. And with my son, the initiative has allowed me to help him learn new things, enjoy family time, stay connected and video calls – it brings the family together."
Donating devices to the Great British Tech Appeal is simple, fast and free of charge. They can be dropped off at participating Vodafone stores or visit www.vodafone.co.uk/techappeal to request a donation kit including a flattened freepost box and pre-paid returns envelope.
Vodafone has a range of projects and partnerships underway to tackle digital exclusion and connect one million people by the end of 2022. Please visit: https://www.vodafone.co.uk/mobile/everyone-connected
B-ROLL CONTENT CAN BE DOWNLOADED BELOW:
GVs Roman Kemp takes part in the #ReBoxing campaign: https://we.tl/t-jB3up39z8Y
IV Roman Kemp, Presenter & Radio DJ: https://we.tl/t-8SauLCMh17
IV Lucy Ivankovic, Barnardo's Head of Children's services, London: https://we.tl/t-LCJswqnSxQ
IV Joy, Beneficiary of the Tech Appeal Initiative: https://we.tl/t-KsyLqagA33
IV Rahima, Beneficiary of the Tech Appeal Initiative: https://we.tl/t-66B6Ajj8Lu