Tesco Mobile and Crisis have announced a two-year partnership with the aim of tackling digital exclusion issues among people suffering from homelessness.
Tesco Mobile is donating £700,000 worth of phones, devices and connectivity during the first year of the partnership.
A recent Crisis study of homeless charities and organisations showed that over three-quarters (76%) had seen an increase in the number of people experiencing digital exclusion and requiring additional support. Three-quarters (75%) also said lack of digital technology or internet was a challenge affecting their ability to support people experiencing homelessness.
Tesco Mobile customers and other members of the public can also get involved. From today, in support of Crisis’s Home for All campaign, people can donate via text, or donate their old smartphone, with the money raised going towards providing more phones, devices and connectivity for Crisis.
Tom Denyard, CEO of Tesco Mobile, said:
“We believe everyone has the right to be connected and mobile connection brings us all closer to other people, to society, and provides access to essential services. For many people living without a permanent home, digital connection is a necessary lifeline. An important part of our partnership with Crisis will be in helping to deliver connectivity to those who need it most.”
Tesco Mobile will also help Crisis develop its services, to support people on their journey out of homelessness.
Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said:
“Access to a phone or to the internet has been vital for so many people throughout the pandemic to stay connected, yet it’s something we know people experiencing homelessness often don’t have, and this adds to feelings of isolation and anxiety.
“A lack of digital connection has become a huge challenge for our frontline services today. During lockdown, we provided 1000 mobile phones to clients to ensure they can continue to access support digitally, reconnect with family and friends and find somewhere safe and settled to live online. By working with Tesco Mobile, we will build on this work and ensure a far greater number of people experiencing homelessness across Great Britain can connect with Crisis and other vital services to help them end their homelessness for good.”
The partnership with Crisis forms part of Tesco Mobile’s Tesco Mobile Reconnects strategy, which, between now and 2023, will see it donate over £2.4 million worth of phones, devices and connectivity to help 13,000 vulnerable and disadvantaged people reconnect with society. It also hopes to double this figure through public fundraising.
During the pandemic, it has also given over 5000 phones and SIMs to vulnerable communities across the UK including health trusts, schools and homeless support services.