Tesco Mobile partners with Crisis to bring ‘lifeline’ of connectivity to people experiencing homelessness in Great Britain

Tesco Mobile and Crisis have announced the start of an ambitious two-year partnership aiming to help thousands of people experiencing homelessness across Britain to reconnect with society.

The importance of connectivity

Our new partnership aims to combat growing issues around digital exclusion and, in the first year, will include an initial donation of £700,000 worth of phones, devices and connectivity (connectivity relating to data, minutes and texts). Mobile connection can provide a lifeline; It can bring us closer together, closer to society and can help to provide access to essential services.

There are over 170,000 families and individuals in the UK without a permanent home. As the impact of coronavirus on society continues to unfold, a recent Crisis study of homeless charities and organisations found that 76% had seen an increase in the number of people experiencing digital exclusion and seeking help for basic digital support. 75% also said that lack of digital technology or internet was presenting challenges in their ability to provide support to people experiencing homelessness.

This partnership forms part of Tesco Mobile’s long-term purpose strategy: Tesco Mobile Reconnects. Between now and 2023, Tesco Mobile are committed to donating over £2.4 million to help 13,000 vulnerable and disadvantaged people reconnect with society. The team at Tesco Mobile are hoping to be able to double to this figure through public fundraising.

Support our partnership with Tesco Mobile

Tesco Mobile will launch a number of initiatives to encourage over 5 million customers and the wider general public to support the partnership and get involved in fundraising efforts. From today, in support of Crisis’ Home for All campaign, Tesco Mobile and Crisis are encouraging:

  • Donations of spare smartphones, which will be converted to cash and any proceeds used to help more Crisis members keep connected. Find out how you can help us make a difference at tescomobile.com/reconnects/donate.
  • Donate by text. If you don’t have an old smartphone but want to help, you can also text to donate. Your donation of £2 will provide a lifeline to someone in need. Simply text ‘Reconnects’ to 70004.* 

Human connection

Tom Denyard, CEO of Tesco Mobile, said: “At Tesco Mobile we care for human connection. We believe passionately that everyone has the right to be connected and that mobile connection brings us all closer to other people, to society, and provides access to essential services. For many people living without a permanent home, digital connection is a necessary lifeline. An important part of our partnership with Crisis will be in helping to deliver connectivity to those who need it most.”

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Tesco Mobile at such a crucial point in time as we move out of lockdown. Access to a phone or to the internet has been vital for so many people throughout the pandemic to stay connected, yet it’s something we know people experiencing homelessness often don’t have, and this adds to feelings of isolation and anxiety.

“As thousands of people have been moved in from sleeping on our streets to hotels, we have been ensuring that we can continue to be there by adapting our services. A lack of digital connection has become a huge challenge for our frontline services today. During lockdown, we provided 1000 mobile phones to clients to ensure they can continue to access support digitally, reconnect with family and friends and find somewhere safe and settled to live online. By working with Tesco Mobile, we will build on this work and ensure a far greater number of people experiencing homelessness across Great Britain can connect with Crisis and other vital services to help them end their homelessness for good.”

To find out more or get involved by donating, visit tescomobile.com/reconnects.

*Text donations cost £2 plus your standard network rate to send to a premium number. Crisis UK is a charity registered in England and Wales 1082947, and Scotland SC040094. Company Number: 4024938. Crisis will receive 100% of the text donation which will help to support their members to stay connected to their vital services. All supporters must obtain permission from the bill payer before sending a text message. If you are under 16, you must have your parent or guardian’s permission. For any questions call the Crisis helpline on 08000 384838. Full T&Cs can be found here.

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