Tesco Mobile partners Crisis to combat digital exclusion

Tesco Mobile has started a two-year partnership with Crisis aimed at helping thousands of people experiencing homelessness across Britain to reconnect with society.

The partnership aims to combat growing issues around digital exclusion, as new data highlights the increasing barriers to accessing information, support and opportunity felt by people who are homeless. It includes an initial donation of £700,000 worth of phones, devices and connectivity in the net 12 months.

There are currently over 170,000 families and individuals experiencing the worst forms of homelessness in Great Britain. A recent survey by Crisis revealed that over three quarters (76 per cent) of homelessness charities had seen an increase in the number of people experiencing digital exclusion and requiring additional support.

A further three-quarters also said lack of digital technology or internet was a challenge affecting their ability to support people experiencing homelessness.

From today, in support of Crisis’ Home for All campaign, people can donate their old smartphone, with money raised funding more phones, devices and connectivity for Crisis. People are also being invited to text to donate, with donations helping more Crisis members keep connected.

Tom Denyard, chief executive of Tesco Mobile, said: “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 their digital services to support people on their journey out of homelessness.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: "A lack of digital connection has become a huge challenge for our frontline services today, during lockdown, we provided 1,000 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 long-term purpose strategy, which between now and 2023, will see over £2.4 million worth of phones, devices and connectivity donated to help 13,000 vulnerable and disadvantaged people reconnect with society.

Tesco Mobile Reconnects builds upon the company’s response throughout COVID-19, which saw over 5,000 phones and SIMs donated to vulnerable communities across the UK, including health trusts, schools and homeless support services.

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