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Vodafone calls on businesses to donate to tech appeal

Melanie May | 5 June 2023 | News

An older woman sits on a yellow sofa, using a tablet. From Good Things Foundation

Vodafone is calling on businesses to donate to its Great British Tech Appeal, which collects unwanted devices, which it refurbishes and adds connectivity to, before reboxing and sending them to digitally excluded people for free.

Vodafone works with Good Things Foundation and its tech refurbishing partner Reconome on the initiative, with donations redistributed by the Good Things Foundation as well as Barnardo’s. The initiative is part of Vodafone’s Everyone.Connected campaign, which aims to help 4 million people cross the digital divide by 2025, and saw Vodafone reach the milestone of providing connectivity to 1 million people last year.

Lack of devices has been reported as one of the major contributing factors to digital exclusion, with a Lloyds Bank survey showing that 35% of people in the UK say not having a device directly impacts their ability to get online. The Good Things Foundation estimates that there are 10 million adults in the UK who are digitally excluded.

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Vodafone’s appeal accepts any device as long as the item is still working and in a useable condition. With any device that cannot be repurposed, as much is reused or recycled as possible. Any number of items can be donated, and donations can be pre-arranged for office collection. More information on this can be found here

Research from Good Things Foundation has shown several barriers preventing businesses from donating old tech. These include little knowledge of programmes like Tech Appeal, fears around security, and a perception that the process to donate devices will be complex.

Vodafone has partnered with Good Things Foundation to remove these barriers and make it easy and secure with all devices wiped of data before finding a new owner.

Nick Gliddon, CEO of Vodafone Business, UK, said:

“At Vodafone, we are privileged to work with a fantastic network of customers who we are proactively calling on to look at the devices they no longer want or need. We’ll work with Good Things Foundation to collect these devices, refurbish and rebox them, and provide free connectivity so that they can benefit those who need them most.

 

“Our Everyone.Connected programme has so far helped over 1 million people cross the digital divide and we aim to help a total of 4 million by 2025. We would encourage businesses to get involved, it costs nothing to donate, any data is securely wiped, and they would be doing their part in promoting the circular economy.”

According to Material Focus, up to 484,000 tonnes of electricals were bought by businesses and other organisations during 2019, including phones and IT equipment. More than 200,000 tonnes of electrical goods are being thrown away by businesses with general waste and 5,000 tonnes of business electricals are being fly tipped, with clean-up costs often paid by local authorities.

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