Vodafone and the Trussell Trust report rising need for digital connectivity from food banks and the communities they support, as well as Vodafone’s everyone.connected campaign reaching 250,000 milestone

Vodafone and the Trussell Trust have reported a significant increase in requests for digital connectivity due to the cost-of-living crisis. The partnership between Vodafone and the Trussell Trust, which launched a year ago, provides free connectivity to people who are receiving support from food banks in the Trussell Trust network.

Emma Revie, Chief Executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “It’s simply not right that more and more people in the UK are being left with no option than to use a food bank. We’re hearing from food banks across our network that the cost-of-living crisis is forcing increasing numbers of people into impossible decisions where they have to cut back on the essentials we all need to get by.

“Being online and connected is one of these essentials. Without internet access, people can’t manage their finances, apply for job opportunities, or stay connected with doctors, schools and loved ones.

“Our partnership with Vodafone is making a real difference to the support food banks are able to give people facing hardship – being connected is an essential for all of us to survive as well as thrive.”

Vodafone has committed to connect one million people living in digital exclusion by the end of 2022. Today, it announced it has already provided free connectivity to 250,000 people, via partners (including the Trussell

Trust, Barnardo’s and Good Things Foundation) and through its charities.connected initiative which enables UK registered charities to apply for free connectivity to improve their digital capability or help the individuals and families they support to get online.

Most recently, Vodafone announced it will be providing free connectivity to 200,000 refugees who arrive in the UK from Ukraine.

Ahmed Essam, UK CEO, Vodafone, said: “The pandemic and cost of living crisis have highlighted the scale of digital exclusion, and in particular its impact on the most vulnerable in society. Digital connectivity is essential to access work, education, healthcare, finances and to keep in touch with family and friends, yet 1.5m households are living without internet access.

“Our everyone connected campaign puts tackling digital exclusion at the heart of our business. Our goal is to provide connectivity and support to those in society who need it most. By working with leading organisations like the Trussell Trust who can reach people in need, we aim to help as many people as possible stay connected.”

Sabrina, who has received a Vodafone SIM card, highlights the importance of being connected: “My phone and internet are my lifeline to the outside world. Without them I wouldn’t be able to message family and friends, to pay bills, to do online banking. I would be terribly lonely.

“It’s a definite must for me to have these services. If and when I don’t have them, I’m cut off from the world, feeling sad, lonely and desperate for communication.”

Everyone can support Vodafone’s commitment to tackle digital exclusion and connect one million people by the end of 2022. To find out more or get involved, search Vodafone everyone connected.


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