Vodafone is looking to help UK charities help those in need to stay connected during the pandemic with a new free initiative.
The operator says that its new charities.connected program will give any charity in the UK the opportunity to apply for free connectivity to help individuals and families in need.
The program can also help the charities themselves improve their own digital capacity, helping them stay connected to their donors and volunteers across the country.
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The initiative will allow charities to apply for the free connectivity, in the form of SIM cards with 20GB data, plus free calls and texts every month for six months. The cards will work in any SIM enabled device, including phones, tablets, laptops or Mifi dongles, and multiple SIMs can be requested and repeat applications can be made if the organisation has a range of digital exclusion projects underway.
Vodafone says the launch of charities.connected is part of its ongoing commitment to tackle digital exclusion, with the operator hoping to help connect one million people by the end of 2022. The company believes 1.5m households, or approximately 6% of the UK population, are living without internet access.
Charities themselves have struggled during the pandemic, with smaller organisations finding it tough to offer digital services due to a lack of skills, forcing some to halt operations altogther.
"At Vodafone, we’ve put tackling digital exclusion at the heart of our business with our pledge to connect one million people by the end of 2022," said Helen Lamprell, General Counsel and External Affairs Director at Vodafone UK.
"We hope that by giving free connectivity to charities across the UK, we can enable them to better support their local communities, particularly those that are digitally excluded. We want to support projects big and small - please help us share this offer so we can reach as many charities as possible.”
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Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.