Three has teamed up with charities including the Good Things Foundation in Reconnected, an initiative to get the disadvantaged online. The company is calling for people to donate their unwanted old smartphones via Three stores, and will connect the recipient to the Three network for three months of free unlimited calls and data.
Three’s Director of Engagement Vivki Blenkarn said ‘For most of us, being connected via a smartphone is something we probably take for granted. However, for almost 20 million people in the UK, that’s a luxury they just can’t afford – but we believe it’s something they can’t afford to miss out on. So we’re working with some incredible charities to help disadvantaged people all over the UK get connected to the digital world.’
Phones will be refurbished by GSUK, and passed on to charities such as Good Things Foundation, which supports digitally and socially excluded people to improve their lives through digital, operating as a representative organisation for the 5,000 strong Online Centres Network. The network offers people in their communities a variety of different support under one roof, including digital skills support, financial, literacy and numeracy support and understanding individuals barriers to employment including low confidence and mental health issues. Good Things Foundation has helped 2 million people get online since 2010.
The Reconnected scheme will benefit the young homeless, ex-military personnel and victims of domestic abuse among others. Three has previously contributed to charity schemes including the Breakfast in a Bag campaign which provides meals to the homeless in London.
Ofcom estimates that there are 20m unused smartphones in the UK, worth around £10b.