Press Release | 31 Mar 2022

Vodafone extends Tech Appeal with Refugee Council

Vodafone today announced it is working with leading charity Refugee Council to distribute smartphones, devices and connectivity to refugees, including those fleeing Ukraine.

Vodafone has donated 3,000 smartphones, connectivity and 1,000 portable chargers to the programme and is extending its popular Tech Appeal, so the UK public and businesses can donate tech to the cause.

This follows Vodafone’s recent announcement that it is offering free connectivity to 200,000 refugees arriving in the UK from Ukraine through its everyone.connected programme.

Refugee Council is one of the leading charities working with refugees and those seeking asylum in the UK. It provides resettlement and integration services, such as help with securing accommodation, finding English lessons, registering for a GP or opening a bank account. Importantly, it also provides therapy to help address the trauma and mental health issues facing adults and children as they arrive in the UK as refugees. It supports around 14,000 displaced men, women and children every year.

Tamsin Baxter, Executive Director of Fundraising and External Affairs, Refugee Council, said: “We are working hard to prepare for the arrival of refugees from Ukraine and are ready to help them recover and rebuild their lives after the trauma they’ve faced. It’s brilliant to see companies like Vodafone supporting our work. When you have lost so much, connectivity to those you love is invaluable; these phones could make the difference between speaking to a husband, children or parents who have been left behind, or not. That is absolutely a lifeline.”

How Vodafone volunteers are helping Ukrainian refugees

Vodafone Foundation, Vodafone’s charitable arm, has been co-ordinating relief efforts in countries bordering Ukraine.

Vodafone is offering its customers free mobile calls and texts to Ukraine and is waiving charges for customers within the country; and is match-funding donations to the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal through the British Red Cross. It is also offering suitably qualified candidates from Ukraine fast track access to employment opportunities, subject to visa requirements. And Vodafone Foundation Instant Networks Teams are on the ground in Romania and Hungary, installing Instant WiFi and charging points in refugee centres to help people stay in touch with family and friends.

To find out more, search Vodafone everyone connected.

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Notes to editors

Registered charities can apply for free connectivity. All applications will be reviewed and a decision to support made within 30 days. SIMs will be issued within 30 days of a positive decision. The connectivity is in the form of SIMs with 20GB data each month for six months and unlimited calls and texts.

To donate unwanted smartphones and tablets to The Vodafone Ukraine Crisis Tech Appeal: donate instore or apply online for a freepost envelope.

To donate to the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal through the British Red Cross, people can give any amount using this tracked link or make a £10 donation[1] by texting VODAFONE to 70141. Vodafone is match funding donations to £250,000.

[1] *Texts cost £10 + one standard message (UK numbers only). The British Red Cross will receive 100%. For full T&Cs visit redcross.org.uk/terms.

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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 March 2022, we have 5G in 380 locations across Europe – 141 in the UK and 239 across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland. 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. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 26 UK towns and cities, rising to 35 over the coming months, through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach. Our full fibre services are now available to more than eight 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: www.vodafone.co.uk.

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