Press Release | 30 Jun 2020

Vodafone and Barnardo’s ‘Great British Tech Appeal’ now open to businesses

Vodafone and Barnardo’s ‘Great British Tech Appeal’ now open to businesses
  • Businesses can now donate unwanted smartphones and tablets for redistribution to those in need – via Barnardo’s, Safe Lives and British Red Cross.
  • Appeal aims to distribute 10,000 phones and tablets to disadvantaged children, families and the charity workers who support them.
  • Vodafone to provide six months of free connectivity for every device redistributed.
  • Huawei donates 1,000 smartphones and the Post Office donates 75 tablets.

‘The Great British Tech Appeal’, launched by Vodafone and Barnardo’s in May, is now open to businesses.

From today, any business can donate five or more unwanted smartphones and tablets for redistribution to disadvantaged children, families and the charity workers who support them.

Vodafone will cover the cost of collections, repackaging and redistribution and will provide six months free connectivity for every device. In addition to providing devices to Barnardo’s, the Appeal is also supporting the British Red Cross and domestic abuse charity SafeLives.

The Great British Tech Appeal is open for donations until the end of July 2020 and has already gained support from Huawei who have today donated 1,000 Y6 smartphones, and the Post Office who have donated 75 tablets.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the essential role of digital technology in keeping people connected.  Yet hundreds of thousands of people across the UK do not have adequate access to a device or connectivity at home and face huge barriers in accessing education and support services.

  • More than 700,000 children and young people across the UK do not have adequate access to a device or connectivity at home[1].
  • Barnardo’s reports that ‘digital poverty’ affects the ability of the 300,000 children and young people it supports to keep in touch with essential key workers.
  • In surveys conducted during the lockdown, SafeLives found that 25% of people living with abuse rated their safety at less than 5 out of 10.

The Great British Tech Appeal is looking for smartphones or tablets in working condition. Businesses can donate tech quickly and easily as follows:

  1. Email with: a contact name, collection address and date, phone number and number, size and weight of the boxes to collect.
  2. A courier will get in touch and arrange collection.

Every device received via The Great British Tech Appeal will be data wiped[2], re-boxed with a cable and charger and redistributed with the help of our charity partners. Recipients of a device will benefit from unlimited connectivity for six months, after which they can choose to stay with us as a customer or join another network.

Anne Sheehan, Director, Vodafone Business said: “We call on businesses across the UK to support The Great British Tech Appeal and donate smartphones and tablets they no longer require. We know many thousands of children and families still can’t access learning or essential support because they don’t have the devices or connectivity they need.

“Any phones and tablets you are able to donate really could change a life – please get on board and get in touch!”

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said: “The Coronavirus crisis has left many children across the UK living in digital poverty without access to online education or the chance to speak to a support worker. The Great British Tech Appeal will make a huge difference to families who don’t have smartphones at home.

“I would urge companies as well as individuals to donate any devices they no longer need to help Barnardo’s get technology and connectivity into the hands of the vulnerable children and families who need it most.”

Any donated device that can’t be redistributed will be responsibly recycled via Vodafone’s existing accredited partners, reducing e-waste and the demand for rare-earth elements used in the manufacture of mobile phones and tablets.

– ends –

 Notes to Editors

Supporting quotes

Emma Springham, Group Marketing and Brand Director at Post Office, said:
“We are delighted to support the Great British Tech Appeal. As a business we are all about keeping people connected and that’s never been as important as it is now with the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on communities across the UK.”

Anson Zhang, CEO of Huawei UK Consumer Business Group, said:
“We are truly humbled and grateful to be able to play a part in this inspiring initiative. Huawei believes whole-heartedly in the transformative power of technology, and we hope our contribution will help to bridge the digital divide, giving children and families across the UK the support they deserve.”

Donating devices
Please note we can only accept smartphones and tablets into The Great British Tech Appeal and can’t accept laptops at this time. Before donating, we recommend devices are reset to default factory settings (e.g. no password or PIN or any cloud-based protection such as iCloud). Any ‘find my device’ functionality should be disabled or we won’t be able to process or donate the device. Please remove any SIM or memory cards before donating the devices.

Any donated devices that can’t be used (e.g. due to damage or software incompatibility) will be responsibly recycled via Vodafone’s existing accredited partners, reducing e-waste and the demand for rare-earth elements used in the manufacture of mobile phones and tablets.  This supports Vodafone’s commitment to reducing e-waste; in 2019, it diverted 100% of network and e-waste from landfill and recycled 10 tonnes of used devices. Any funds raised will be donated back to the Great British Tech Appeal and used to finance additional devices and connectivity.

About Barnardo’s
Last year around 300,000 children, young people, parents and carers were supported by Barnardo’s through more than 1,000 services across the UK, such as young carers, care leavers, foster carers and adoptive parents, training and skills or parenting classes. We work to support vulnerable children in the UK and every year we help thousands of families to build a better future. But we cannot do it without you. Visit to find out how you can get involved. Registered charity No. 216250 and SC037605. Follow Barnardo’s media team on Twitter @BarnardosNews.

For more information, please contact:

Vodafone UK Media Relations Team

Tel: 01635 693693



Twitter: @vodafoneuknews

[1] ONS in 2018 reported 12% of those between 11 and 18 years old (700,000) reported having no internet access at home

[2] Before donating a smartphone or tablet, we recommend that every device be reset to default factory settings to remove password and pin data.  Any ‘find my device’ functionality should be disabled.

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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

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693

Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews


Vodafone Limited

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

Registered in England No: 1471587