Virgin Media O2 and Hubbub announce grant winners for ‘Tech Lending Community Fund’

Will Taylor

Virgin Media O2 and Hubbub have announced the five charities which have received a share of £400,000 to run a device lending scheme providing tables and data to people in need.

Grants between £55,000 and £83,000 have been made to five organisations across the UK who provide support to groups such as women seeking refuge from domestic violence, refugees, asylum seekers and people at risk of homelessness.

The five charities are Thames Reach, Kurdish and Middle Eastern Women’s Organisation, Willowacre Trust, Refuge and Leeds Refugee Forum. Between them they will provide more than 1,000 tablets to people living in temporary accommodation and who are digitally excluded.

The tablets will be powered by free O2 mobile data provided by the National Databank, setup by Virgin Media O2 and Good Things Foundation. The tablets and data will help people improve their digital skills and access services such as healthcare, mental health support, training courses, and to apply for jobs and attend interviews.

The grant fund is also supported by Amazon, providing an additional £100,000 to support the running costs.

Nicola Green, Chief Communications & Corporate Affairs Officer at Virgin Media O2 said: “For people living in temporary accommodation and at risk of digital exclusion, having access to devices and data can be a lifeline. That’s why we’re proud to support these five worthy winners of the Tech Lending Community Fund to help them support vulnerable people so they can get online and access the services they need. This is just one of the ways Virgin Media O2 is working to connect one million digitally excluded people through free and affordable connectivity and services by 2025, as part of our new Better Connections Plan to help people to lead better, more connected, and greener lives.”