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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 October 2020, we have 5G in 57 locations in the UK and 193 across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland.

In September 2020, leading mobile benchmarking company, umlaut, named Vodafone as London’s best network for 5G. Our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population. And in October 2020, Vodafone was named Network Provider of the Year by readers of leading technology advice website, Trusted Reviews.

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 15 UK towns and cities through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach.

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