News | 05 Apr 2023

Digital divide: ‘People shouldn’t have to live without connectivity’

Nicki Lyons, Vodafone’s UK Chief Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Officer, went to Finsbury Park in North London to meet charity partner, The Trussell Trust, as it launched its 'Guarantee our Essentials’ campaign on Tuesday.

Explaining the reasons for the awareness campaign, which involved a giant till receipt outlining the real cost of everyday essentials, Eniola Akinlabi, Campaigns and Communications Manager at The Trussell Trust’s Tottenham food bank, told Vodafone UK News: “We are demonstrating how the basic rate of universal credit doesn’t add up. It’s not enough to cover the essentials for people and we just want to raise awareness of that.”

The Trussell Trust is a key partner in Vodafone’s everyone.connected campaign, helping to distribute free SIMs loaded with calls and data to people visiting its national network of food banks.

So far the everyone.connected campaign has provided connectivity to more than a million people in need throughout the UK, and The Trussell Trust itself is working to distribute 200,000 of these Vodafone SIMs. Vodafone now aims to connect a further three million people by the end of 2025.

'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.

Nicki Lyons said: “For Vodafone, connectivity is vital. We’ve been campaigning for the past couple of years through everyone.connected to ensure that as many people as possible are supported in crossing the digital divide.

“We’ve been working with The Trussell Trust to distribute connectivity via their food banks, and we believe that it’s something people can’t – and shouldn’t have to – live without.”

Ms Akinlabi added: “The SIMs have been incredibly useful for our clients. We’ve been able to connect people in a way that they weren’t connected before.

“I even know one client who got a SIM card from us and used it to apply for jobs and then got a job.” 🥚

Stay up-to-date with the very latest news from Vodafone by following us on Twitter and signing up for News Centre website notifications.