Press Release | 01 Jun 2023

Vodafone calls on UK businesses to donate unwanted devices to Great British Tech Appeal to help bridge digital divide and promote circular economy

At least 200,000 tonnes of electrical goods are thrown away by businesses annually. And yet up to 10 million adults in the UK are digitally excluded and 7% of households have no home internet access.

  • More than 200,000 tonnes of electrical goods are thrown away by businesses annually.
  • Vodafone calls on businesses across the UK to donate unwanted devices to its Great British Tech Appeal.
  • Up to 10 million adults in the UK are digitally excluded and 7% of households have no home internet access, according to Ofcom, up from 6% previously.
  • Donations will be redistributed by Vodafone’s partners Good Things Foundation, the UK’s leading digital inclusion charity, and Barnardo’s.
  • Initiative is part of Vodafone’s everyone.connected campaign, which aims to help four million people cross the digital divide by 2025.

Vodafone has today launched a drive for more businesses to donate their unwanted devices to its Great British Tech Appeal, to help close the digital divide and promote a more circular economy.

Along with Good Things Foundation and their tech refurbishing partner Reconome, The Great British Tech Appeal is a Vodafone initiative that collects unwanted devices, securely refurbishes and reboxes them, adds connectivity and sends them to digitally excluded people, at no cost.

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Research from Good Things Foundation has shown that there are several barriers preventing businesses from donating old tech. While many may have little knowledge of programmes like Tech Appeal, other fears are based around security and a perception that the process to donate devices will be complex.

Vodafone has partnered with Good Things Foundation to remove these barriers and make it easy and secure, with all devices being wiped of any data before finding a new owner.

Up to 484,000 tonnes of electricals were bought by businesses and other organisations during 2019, including phones and IT equipment. More than 200,000 tonnes of electrical goods are being thrown away by businesses. General waste and 5,000 tonnes of business electricals are being fly-tipped, with clean-up costs often being paid by local authorities.

At the same time, digital exclusion is at risk of rising due to the cost-of-living crisis. Research by YouGov and Development Economics, commissioned by Vodafone, predicted that up to a million families risk falling on the wrong side of the digital divide due to the crisis.

Lack of devices has been reported as one of the major contributing factors to digital exclusion, with 35% of Brits saying that not having a device directly impacts their ability to get online. Research by Good Things Foundation estimates that there are 10 million adults in the UK who are digitally excluded and a report by Ofcom found that 7% of households are without home internet access.

The Great British Tech Appeal is part of Vodafone’s everyone.connected campaign to tackle digital exclusion. In 2022, Vodafone reached the milestone of providing connectivity to 1 million people. It has now pledged to help a total of 4 million people living on the wrong side of the digital divide by the end of 2025.

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Alongside its Tech Appeal, Vodafone has also launched Essentials Broadband and VOXI For Now to help bridge the digital divide. Both are among the most affordable social broadband and mobile tariffs on the market.

Nick Gliddon, CEO of Vodafone Business, UK, said: “At Vodafone, we are privileged to work with a fantastic network of customers. We are proactively calling on them to look at the devices they no longer want or need.

“We’ll work with Good Things Foundation to collect these devices, refurbish and re-box them, and provide free connectivity so that they can benefit those who need them most.

“Our everyone.connected programme has so far helped more than a million people cross the digital divide, and we aim to help a total of 4 million by 2025.

“We would encourage businesses to get involved, it costs nothing to donate, any data is securely wiped, and they would be doing their part in promoting the circular economy.”

'We've provided connectivity to 1 million people in need - now we want to reach 4 million'

As Vodafone reaches its goal to provide connectivity to one million digitally excluded people by the end of 2022, Vodafone’s UK Chief Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Officer explains why the campaign is so important and how the company plans to extend it.

Helen Milner, Chief Executive of The Good Things Foundation, said: “Every device donation will make a major difference to those on the wrong side of the digital divide. Donating is a great way to prolong device usage while also helping those who need it most.”

Vodafone’s Great British Tech Appeal accepts any device as long as the item is still working and in a useable condition. For any device which cannot be repurposed, all efforts are made to reuse parts or recycle. There is no minimum or maximum number of items that can be donated, and donations can be pre-arranged for office collection.

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About Good Things Foundation

Good Things Foundation is a social change charity, helping people improve their lives through digital.

Through thousands of network partners in communities across the UK, Good Things Foundation helps people gain the support and skills they need to improve their lives; and believes that everyone should have the confidence, skills, support and access to use digital technology, participate in society and benefit from the digital world. Click on the link for more information on Good Things Foundation.

About Reconome

Everyone, regardless of where or to whom they were born, deserves access to a great education, healthcare, career, and to find their life’s passion. By making it possible for anyone to access technology, we break down the barriers that exist today. Our ambition at Reconome is to create a long-term sustainable supply chain of affordably priced computing equipment in order to guarantee equal access to technology in a planet-friendly way.

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 the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester and now have 5G in locations across Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain as well as the UK. Meanwhile, 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. Vodafone is the largest provider of full fibre in the UK – our superfast broadband services are now available to nearly 12 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:

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693


Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews


Vodafone Limited

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