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Press Release | 26 May 2020

Vodafone UK joins Lancaster University to provide connectivity to disadvantaged schoolchildren in Lancashire

Vodafone UK joins Lancaster University to provide connectivity to disadvantaged schoolchildren in Lancashire

Vodafone UK is supporting a fundraising effort by Lancaster University to provide more than 350 Unlimited data SIMs to disadvantaged schoolchildren across the Lancaster district.

The connectivity, together with mobile devices and laptops, will be distributed by local schools in Lancaster and Morecambe to pupils aged 11-18, who would otherwise find it difficult to continue their studies during the restrictions caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

The pandemic has forced schools across the UK to move to online lessons and tutoring. This is difficult for many, but for low-income households, without the devices and connectivity they need, it is particularly challenging.

Helen Lamprell, General Counsel and External Affairs Director, Vodafone UK, said: “The pandemic has impacted everyone in the UK but is hitting the most vulnerable in our society the hardest. We recognise that technology can play a huge part in making peoples’ lives easier; I’m really pleased that our connectivity will enable children across Lancashire to continue to access their education.”

Morecambe Bay Academy Principal Victoria Michael, who is co-ordinating efforts for local schools, said:

“Digital poverty means having no access to online education, due to a lack of device or internet connection in the family home. Educationally, those children who are entitled to free school meals achieve far lower outcomes nationally compared to their peers. This pandemic is widening that gap daily as some children still have access to learning and some do not. This is why connecting kids is so important.

Local businesses and Lancaster University have worked together with school leaders to try and solve this problem quickly. We think this will make a real difference to the families involved and enable the students to stay connected with their schools, and each other.”

This project is part of the Connecting Kids initiative developed by a consortium of providers across Lancaster and Morecambe including Lancaster University, Lancaster City Council, Lancaster & Morecambe College, local schools and businesses and Eden Project International.

  • For more on the Connecting Kids programme click here.

ENDS

Notes to editors

Laptops and devices have been provided by a variety of suppliers as part of the Connecting Kids initiative.

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed-line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were also the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. As of June 2021, we have 5G in 364 locations across Europe – 124 in the UK and 240 across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland. Our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 24 UK towns and cities, rising to 34 over the coming months, through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach. By spring 2022, our target is to make full fibre services available to more than eight million homes across the UK.

Sustainability is also at the heart of what we do: as of 1 July 2021, 100% of the grid electricity we use in the UK is certified to be from renewable sources.

For more information about Vodafone UK please visit: www.vodafone.co.uk.

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693

Email: ukmediarelations@vodafone.com

Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews

Website: https://newscentre.vodafone.co.uk

Vodafone Limited

Registered Office: Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN

Registered in England No: 1471587