Vodafone and Barnado’s launch The Great British Tech Appeal

Vodafone is calling on all of us to search drawers and cupboards for old smartphones and tablets, that can be redistributed to disadvantaged children.

Partnering with children’s charity Barnardo’s, the Great British Tech Appeal aims to distribute 10,000 phones and tablets to those in greatest need.

Vodafone will cover all postage and packing costs, and then include three months of free connectivity for every device it distributes.

The appeal runs for six weeks and it will also provide devices to the British Red Cross and to services for victims of domestic abuse via the SafeLives charity.

It is estimated that homes in the UK could contain up to 40 million unused electronic gadgets, including phones and tablets. Half of UK homes have at least one unused electronic device, and 45% have up to five, according to a recent study.

“Our focus throughout this crisis has been keeping the UK connected. We’ve provided tech support to our charity partners and the vulnerable people they care for; and across the UK, our teams have been working flat out to bring NHS hospitals, front line staff and emergency services the connectivity they need to do their amazing work.

“However, we know that 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. The Great British Tech Appeal relies on the generosity of the public and we call on them to get behind this appeal. Your old phone or tablet really could change a life.”

Nick Jeffery, Vodafone CEO

Making a donation is simple and free. Simply visit www.vodafone.co.uk/techappeal and complete a the form to receive a donation kit that can be posted, free, at any post office or post box.

Your donated gadget will be completely wiped of data, re-packaged with a cable and charger, and redistributed with the help of Vodafone’s charity partners.

Recipients will get unlimited connectivity for three months, before being able to stay on as a Vodafone customer, or join another network if they so wish.

“The Coronavirus crisis is having serious consequences for the vulnerable children and families we support across the UK.  ‘Digital poverty’ – the lack of devices or internet access – means many children already at a disadvantage will fall further behind at school and miss out on vital support such as counselling.

“We’re delighted to be working with Vodafone to help get technology and connectivity into the hands of the vulnerable children and families who need it most. If you do have a smartphone or tablet at home that you’re not using, please consider donating it to the Great British Tech Appeal so we can help children learn and stay safe at home.”

Javed Khan, Barnardo’s Chief Executive

Any device donated that cannot be redistributed will be recycled responsibly using accredited partners, to reduce e-waste and recover rare-earth elements.

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