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.


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 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).

Having made the UK’s first mobile phone call and sent the first text message, Vodafone has a history as a tech pioneer. In 2018 we made the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G, and were first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. We now have 5G in more places than anyone else, with multiple locations now live across the UK and the rest of Europe.

Today we serve more than 18 million mobile and fixed line customers in the UK, with 4G network coverage at 99%.  Our customers voted us the UK’s Best Mobile Network at the 2018 Trusted Reviews Awards – for the second year in a row. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 15 UK towns and cities through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach.

Connectivity is at the heart of what we do as it gives us a huge opportunity for good. We are using our network, products, talents and technology to help society prosper and respond to significant social and environmental issues.  Our free Digital Parenting magazine is helping families and schools across the UK to navigate the online world safely. Meanwhile, the Vodafone Foundation’s work with researchers at Imperial College is developing personalised cancer treatment using the processing power of smartphones.

We are part of Vodafone Group, one of the world’s largest technology communications companies, with mobile operations in 26 countries, partnerships with mobile networks in 55 more, and fixed broadband operations in 19 markets.  As of 30 September 2019, Vodafone Group had approximately 625 million mobile customers, 27 million fixed broadband customers, and 22 million TV customers – including all of the customers in Vodafone’s joint ventures and associates.

For more information about Vodafone UK, please visit:


Vodafone UK Media Relations

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