Vodafone has partnered up with the charity Barnardo’s to launch ‘The Great British Tech Appeal’ - and it needs your help.
The Great British Tech Appeal is aiming to collect smartphones and tablets for disadvantaged families, children and charity workers, and it’s calling on the public to donate their unwanted devices.
The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has highlighted the importance of communication, with many people self isolating and cut off from face to face contact with family and friends.
However, huge numbers of people around the country still do not have access to smartphones and tablets, making it harder for them to stay in touch. According to research ‘digital poverty’ affects around 700,000 children and young people across the UK, meaning they don’t have access to mobile devices or the internet at home.
In contrast, it is estimated that there are 40 million unused mobile devices in households around the UK. A recent study discovered that up to half of all UK homes have a mobile device that’s not in use, and around 45% could even have up to 5 unused devices. So now is the time to put that old phone you haven't touched for years to better use.
How to donate
The Great British Tech Appeal wants smartphones and tablets that are in working condition, and it’s simple for you to get involved and help out a great cause. Donating your unwanted devices is easy and completely free of charge. All you have to do is head over to The Great British Tech Appeal, fill out a short form and you’ll then get a donation kit with everything you need in the post.
Before sending in your device, your device, you should reset it to its factory settings to make sure it’s no longer password or pin number protected, take out the SIM card, and make sure to switch off any ‘find my device’ settings (such as Find My iPhone), if these settings aren/t switched off, The Great British Tech Appeal may not be able to donate your device.
Then, once you’ve sorted out which devices you’re sending, pop them in the supplied pre-paid returns envelope and send them off at a post box or post office.
When The Great British Tech Appeal receives your devices, they’ll be completely wiped of any personal data, re-packaged with vital accessories like a cable and charger and then distributed out to those in need. People who are given tablets or smartphones will also benefit from three months free unlimited connection. After this time they can opt to stay with Vodafone or are free to join another network with their unlocked device.
In the event your donated device can’t be given out, it will be responsibly recycled for the rare elements that are used to make smartphones, so it will still be going to a good cause.
Vodafone UK Chief Executive Officer Nick Jeffery said, “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.”
For more information, head over to the to The Great British Tech Appeal.
Communication apps usage nearly doubles during lockdown
EE reports a surge in apps like Zoom and WhatsApp.
How are mobile phone networks supporting people through Coronavirus?
See what your network is offering to help you during COVID-19.
Smartwatches and fitness trackers guide
Get active with wearable tech.