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Vodafone and Barnardo's extend Tech Appeal to businesses

Companies can now donate unwanted smartphones and tablets to those in need

UPDATE: Vodafone and Barnardo’s have announced that they are extending the ‘Great British Tech Appeal’ to businesses, which can now donate unwanted smartphones and tablets to those in need.

Those interested are being asked to email techappeal@vodafone.com with a contact name, phone number, and collection address and date, along with the number, size, and weight of the boxes to collect. Once the email is received, a courier will get in touch and arrange collection from the business.

The Great British Tech Appeal is open for donations until the end of July 2020 and is asking businesses to donate at least five devices, which will be then data wiped, re-boxed with a cable and charger, and redistributed with the help of Vodafone and Barnardo’s charity partners.

Vodafone Business director Anne Sheehan emphasised that “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,” she said.

Huawei is reported to have already donated 1,000 smartphones, while the Post Office has provided the Tech Appeal with 75 tablets. Vodafone and Barnardo’s goal is to distribute 10,000 phones and tablets to disadvantaged children.

28/05/2020: Great British Tech Appeal calls on the public to donate their unused devices

Vodafone and charity for vulnerable children Barnardo’s are calling on the public to donate their spare smartphones and tablets, which will be redistributed among disadvantaged persons who are struggling to stay connected in the face of the lockdown and enforced social distancing measures.

‘The Great British Tech Appeal’ will provide mobile devices to children, families, and the charity workers who support them, as well as the British Red Cross and to services for victims of domestic abuse via the charity SafeLives.

The coronavirus pandemic and related lockdown measures have exposed the crucial role of technology in keeping society connected and, in the case of children, educated. However, many do not have the financial means to make a sudden shift to a digital lifestyle.

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According to a 2018 study by the ONS, 700,000 of young people between the ages of 11 and 18 reported having no internet access at home, while Barnardo’s reports that ‘digital poverty’ affects the ability of the 300,000 children and young people it supports to keep in touch with their parents or carers, many of whom are essential key workers.

However, these figures come at a time when a vast number of devices are being left unused in households across the UK. According to last year’s study by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), half of UK homes have at least one unused electronic device and 45% have up to five. Estimates reveal that UK homes potentially contain up to 40 million unused electronic gadgets, such as the desperately needed mobile phones and tablets.

Vodafone UK CEO Nick Jeffery said that “the Great British Tech Appeal relies on the generosity of the public” and encouraged people to “get behind this appeal”.

“Your old phone or tablet really could change a life,” he added.

The public can donate any smartphone or tablet in working condition, preferably reset to default factory settings with any passwords or PINs removed.

In order to do so, visit www.vodafone.co.uk/techappeal and complete a short online form to receive a donation kit with a flattened freepost box and pre-paid returns envelope. Devices can be posted at any post office or post box.

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