A homelessness charity is helping vulnerable families and people facing homelessness keep connected to loved ones and support services after distributing more than 50 mobile phones thanks to a kind donation.
The smartphones, which each come with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB of data per month for a full year, were donated by mobile phone network O2 and environmental charity Hubbub as part of a campaign to help fight digital exclusion across Greater Manchester.
Rochdale based charity Stepping Stone Projects prevents homelessness, transforms lives and empowers people to live independently. For the past 35 years, it has worked in partnerships with local authorities, housing associations, care providers, health services and charities across the North West.
Chief Executive of Stepping Stone Projects, Dave Smith, said:
“This donation has made a massive difference to some of our most vulnerable customers, many of whom sleep rough.
“The phones have been given to people who were without the devices or connectivity necessary to stay in touch with family and friends or to access essential services through the internet.
“They include young people leaving care, people with complex needs and people with no recourse to public funds.
“Digital exclusion is a key factor in poverty and we hope that this very generous donation, alongside ongoing support from Stepping Stone Projects, will help them to improve their lives.”
The campaign, which is called the Community Calling Campaign, has been successfully trialled in London and is now being expanded to Greater Manchester in a bid to tackle poverty and widespread unemployment across the region.
Emily Watson, Creative Partner at Hubbub, said:
“We’re thrilled to be able to support 50 Rochdale residents through our Community Calling project.
“I was able to meet one of the Stepping Stone Projects beneficiaries when we delivered some devices, and it was heart-warming to see just how tangible the impact a project like this can have on people’s lives.
“We’re urging anyone who has a spare phone lying around at home to think about donating it – it could be a lifeline for someone in need. You can donate from anywhere in the UK and your old phone will be rehomed in one of 6 UK cities struggling with deprivation.”
Anyone who would like to contribute can drop off any unwanted working phones to their nearest Manchester library. Devices will be data-wiped, sanitised and refurbished before being distributed.