Vodafone has pledged to provide more than 50,000 free SIMs, worth a total of £4,500,000, to charities working with homeless people across the UK through its charities.connected initiative.
Vodafone’s partner, youth homelessness charity LandAid, will raise awareness within its wide network of the availability of mobile connectivity, which doesn’t require a name or address.
The SIMs include free 20GB data, plus unlimited texts and UK calls for six months.
From national charities, such as Centrepoint, to local community charities, the 50,000 free SIMs will help those facing homelessness connect with vital help and services.
LandAid brings together businesses and individuals from across the property industry to help young people facing homelessness. 122,000 young people approached their local council for housing support last year alone.
The last few years have highlighted the vital need for digital connectivity on both a personal and professional level. Free mobile data could help improve young people’s wellbeing, education, and future job prospects.
LandAid and Vodafone have committed to jointly raise awareness of the ways digital exclusion can impact young people experiencing homelessness and, through their networks of charity partners, provide free connectivity where it’s needed most.
Vodafone’s charities.connected programme launched in 2021 and gives every UK registered charity the opportunity to apply for free connectivity to improve its digital capability or help the individuals and families it supports to get online. To date, the initiative has supported over 1,800 organisations across a range of social causes, including refugees, domestic abuse, homelessness, healthcare and learning disabilities.
“I’m pleased we are supporting homelessness charities across the UK by providing free connectivity that doesn’t require a name or address,” Ahmed Essam, UK CEO, Vodafone, said. “Being connected is vital to access support services and stay in touch with friends and family. Now more than ever, it’s important that we help those who are digitally excluded. We call on all registered charities to apply for free connectivity so we can help as many people as possible.”
“The anonymous SIMs, with no requirement for an address or payment details, will enable us to provide free data to 2,000 young people who are homeless or currently at risk of homelessness, keeping them connected and allowing them to access a variety of training, benefits, and employment opportunities,” said Ed Tytherleigh, Director of Support and Housing, Centrepoint.
Vodafone has committed to connect one million people living in digital exclusion by the end of 2022. It has already provided 500,000 free SIMs via partners including the Trussell Trust, Barnardo’s and Good Things Foundation, as well as through its charities.connected programme. Any UK registered charity can apply for free connectivity by visiting www.vodafone.com/charitiesconnected.