Vodafone and Barnardo’s ‘Great British Tech Appeal’ now open to businesses

‘The Great British Tech Appeal’, launched by Vodafone and Barnardo’s in May, is now open to businesses.

From today, any business can donate five or more unwanted smartphones and tablets for redistribution to disadvantaged children, families and the charity workers who support them.

Vodafone will cover the cost of collections, repackaging and redistribution and will provide six months free connectivity for every device. In addition to providing devices to Barnardo’s, the Appeal is also supporting the British Red Cross and domestic abuse charity SafeLives.

The Great British Tech Appeal is open for donations until the end of July 2020 and has already gained support from Huawei who have today donated 1,000 Y6 smartphones, and the Post Office who have donated 75 tablets.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the essential role of digital technology in keeping people connected.  Yet hundreds of thousands of people across the UK do not have adequate access to a device or connectivity at home and face huge barriers in accessing education and support services.

  • More than 700,000 children and young people across the UK do not have adequate access to a device or connectivity at home[1].
  • Barnardo’s reports that ‘digital poverty’ affects the ability of the 300,000 children and young people it supports to keep in touch with essential key workers.
  • In surveys conducted during the lockdown, SafeLives found that 25% of people living with abuse rated their safety at less than 5 out of 10.

The Great British Tech Appeal is looking for smartphones or tablets in working condition. Businesses can donate tech quickly and easily as follows:

  1. Email Techappeal@vodafone.com with: a contact name, collection address and date, phone number and number, size and weight of the boxes to collect.
  2. A courier will get in touch and arrange collection.

Every device received via The Great British Tech Appeal will be data wiped[2], re-boxed with a cable and charger and redistributed with the help of our charity partners. Recipients of a device will benefit from unlimited connectivity for six months, after which they can choose to stay with us as a customer or join another network.

Anne Sheehan, Director, Vodafone Business said: “We call on businesses across the UK to support The Great British Tech Appeal and donate smartphones and tablets they no longer require. We know many thousands of children and families still can’t access learning or essential support because they don’t have the devices or connectivity they need.

“Any phones and tablets you are able to donate really could change a life – please get on board and get in touch!”

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said: “The Coronavirus crisis has left many children across the UK living in digital poverty without access to online education or the chance to speak to a support worker. The Great British Tech Appeal will make a huge difference to families who don’t have smartphones at home.

“I would urge companies as well as individuals to donate any devices they no longer need to help Barnardo’s get technology and connectivity into the hands of the vulnerable children and families who need it most.”

Any donated device that can’t be redistributed will be responsibly recycled via Vodafone’s existing accredited partners, reducing e-waste and the demand for rare-earth elements used in the manufacture of mobile phones and tablets.

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