VMO2 and Hubbub boost £400,000 tech lending scheme with further product donation

Telecoms giant Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) and environmental charity, Hubbub have added to its £400,000 Tech Lending Community (TLC) with the donations of hundreds of tablets and smartphones.

In a bid to bridge the digital divide by helping people in need get online across the UK, the TLC aims to tackle digital exclusion and electronic waste, preventing items such as computers, tablets and smartphones to not ending up on the landfill.

Subscribe to Mobile Marketing Magazine

Click here to get the latest marketing news free in your inbox every Thursday

As a result, the telecoms giant revealed it donated over 500 tablets and smartphones, which will be powered by free O2 mobile data from the National Databank, are being donated to homelessness charities, Centrepoint and Thames Reach.

It is also continuing its efforts to fund and support Refuge, a charity which supports women and children who have experienced domestic abuse, the company stated.

The initiative forms part of Virgin Media O2’s sustainability strategy, the Better Connections Plan, which includes the goal of connecting one million digitally excluded people through free and affordable connectivity and services by the end of 2025.

VMO2 Chief Sustainability Officer, Dana Haidan, said: “We know that having data and devices can be a lifeline for people in need, enabling them to access essential websites, from applying for jobs, to accessing medical appointments, and to stay in touch with loved ones.

“That’s why initiatives like The Tech Lending Community scheme and National Databank are vital in addressing digital exclusion and data poverty, and help to transform people’s lives in communities across the UK.”

Hubbub CEO, Alex Robinson added: “The Tech Lending Community (TLC), in partnership with Virgin Media O2, has shown us the tangible impact a second-hand device coupled with free connectivity can have on someone’s life. Beneficiaries of the project have been able to access job support and stay in touch with friends, things that those of us who own smart devices can take for granted.

“Hubbub is thrilled to be launching a second phase of TLC, working alongside homelessness charities Thames Reach and Centrepoint, and Refuge, a charity supporting women and children experiencing domestic violence, to provide an additional 520 tablets and smartphones for them to lend to their service users. We are proud to continue doing work to bridge the digital divide in the UK, whilst keeping tech in circulation for longer.”