Lockdown has brought new challenges to the 11 million people digitally excluded in the UK, and Community Calling is a practical way to support these individuals, as well as tackling e-waste. It's simple: people donate their old smartphone, Hubbub clean it, data-wipe it and redistribute it to someone in need. Each recipient receives 12-months' free data provided by O2 and access to free digital skills training. So far, Hubbub have re-homed almost 3000 smartphones, but with 28 million more going unused in people's homes, they have enlisted us to help reach their target of 10,000.
We are supporting Hubbub to deliver the project in our home town of Bristol where we hope to find 1000 phone beneficiaries by working with a diverse range of local organisations.
Emma is based in Rochdale, one of Greater Manchester’s most disadvantaged boroughs. She has been in and out of homelessness and struggled with substance abuse for 25 years.
Now, she is 10-months clean and has been living in temporary housing for the last year provided by her community support group, Stepping Stone. She’s on the up, is now back in touch with her family and her new device will be the gateway she needs to keep her connected to them, as well as her support workers.
Eventually, she hopes it will help her back into employment. When she opened the box with her new phone in it, she said:
“That’s fantastic, wow, I’m thrilled! This will be such a huge help in finding me a job”