O2 launches national plan to keep the most vulnerable connected in time for Christmas

  • O2 announces nationwide mobile device and data donation drive to support the most vulnerable who are digitally disconnected from others
  • The network is partnering with charity Hubbub, with the aim to donate 10,000 devices and 12 months of free connectivity to digitally excluded people in cities either facing, or at risk of Tier 3 lockdown restrictions
  • The news comes at a critical time as restrictions lead to a reduction in social contact – meaning that many people are struggling and isolated
  • Support the campaign and donate your old smartphone to Community Calling – visithttp://www.hubbub.org.uk/communitycalling

As parts of the UK grapple with tighter lockdown restrictions and people are once again separated from social contact, O2 announces a campaign to help tackle isolation through the power of mobile technology.

The UK’s largest mobile network is expanding its partnership with charity Hubbub, with the aim to gift 10,000 unused smartphones to vulnerable individuals in the most deprived areas of the UK. The Community Calling campaign is a lifeline for people who are struggling as a result of the pandemic, and will see smartphones first donated in the London Boroughs of Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark – locations with high levels of inequality, poverty, exclusion and employment challenges.

A national rollout will then follow in Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, Swansea and Glasgow, with the campaign targeting cities either facing, or at risk of Tier 3 lockdown restrictions – starting with London, then Manchester. The full rollout will be completed by Spring 2021.

As part of the campaign, O2 will be donating 12 months of free connectivity to the beneficiaries, which will include unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB of data per month for a full year.

Digital connectivity has been vital this year: preserving economic output, helping businesses adapt and keeping us close to the ones we love. However, too many people are digitally excluded, without access to devices or connectivity.

O2 and Hubbub are working closely with local community groups in each city to identify those most in need of a smartphone – people who desperately need access to essential services, support with education and employment, or to keep connected with loved ones. The most vulnerable individuals have been identified as those who are shielding, the elderly, refugees, domestic abuse survivors and those in low income households.

All beneficiaries will also be able to access digital skills training at local support centres, equipping them with the knowledge and tools to thrive in the longer term.

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