Press Release | 25 Nov 2020

Vodafone powers Barnardo’s Kidsmas Live concert on global day of giving with special guests Jamie Cullum and Hussain Manawer

Vodafone launches a Christmas-special Great British Tech Appeal in support of Barnardo’s.

  • Virtual event to be broadcast live from St. John Smith’s Square in London and hosted by Barnardo’s President Natasha Kaplinsky.
  • Event will include special performances from singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum and poet Hussain Manawer.
  • Vodafone launches a Christmas-special Great British Tech Appeal in support of Barnardo’s.

Vodafone today announced it is supporting the Barnardo’s Kidsmas Live Concert which will be broadcast live on #GivingTuesday 2020 (Tuesday 1st December 2020, 6.30-7.30pm) and hosted by the charity’s President Natasha Kaplinsky. The event will include special performances from singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum and poet Hussain Manawer. Barnardo’s Kidsmas Live will raise vital funds to support children and young people across the UK.

image of singer Jamie Cullum
Jamie Cullum

Vodafone has also reopened The Great British Tech Appeal and is calling on the UK public and businesses to donate unwanted smartphones and tablets over the festive period and beyond. Vodafone will cover postage and repackaging, add six months free unlimited data connectivity and – via Barnardo’s – redistribute devices to disadvantaged children and families. This follows a successful summer appeal that helped almost 2,500 people across the UK.

promotional image for the Great British Tech Appeal 2020
The Great British Tech Appeal is once again accepting donations of old smartphones and tablets which will be refurbished and distributed to the disadvantaged.

With Christmas celebrations looking very different this year, Barnardo’s Kidsmas Live is a virtual event, free for anyone to attend, and will include a prize draw (with prizes including a Bean to Cup Coffee Machine, a Champagne Afternoon Tea at The Dorchester Hotel and two tickets to an Olly Murs concert plus a ‘meet and greet’ with the star). The charity returns to St John’s Smith Square in London where it held its first Christmas concert of recent times ten years ago. Register online for virtual seats.

Jamie Cullum, singer-songwriter and supporter of young people’s causes, will perform his latest track ‘How do you fly’. Poet Hussain Manawer has penned ‘Christmas Tree’ – an exclusive new poem reflecting the challenges of 2020 whilst offering hope and inspiration to young people across the UK at what can be a difficult time of the year.

In addition to Jamie and Hussain, the hour-long event will feature performances from choirs including the St Margaret’s School Choir from Aberdeen, Scotland, the Brent Music Service Choir from London, England, and the Merthyr Barnardo’s Young Carers’ Choir from Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.

Jamie Cullum said: “Whilst this year has been particularly tough for everyone, I’m really thankful to be able to spread some festive cheer at Kidsmas Live whilst also helping to raise vital funds for Barnardo’s. The concert is a wonderful opportunity to get involved from home with a great charity and do a little bit to help others, either by donating to Barnardo’s or sending old devices to Vodafone.”

Hussain Manawer said: “Christmas is such an important time of year, and whilst this year it is likely to be a little different, we still need to maintain a sense of positivity and festive spirit.

That is why I am really pleased to be involved in Kidsmas Live, because helping connect with those feelings is especially important for young people in need.

Like the whole of the UK, Barnado’s has had a tough year, and missed out on lots of its vital fund-raising. Kidsmas Live is a great opportunity for everyone to think about all those who may not be fortunate enough to experience the true sense of Christmas – and help by donating if they can.  Either donating money to Barnardo’s or old devices to Vodafone.”

illustrative image of poet Hussain Manawer
Hussain Manawer, poet.

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said: “This has been an extremely challenging year for everyone, and especially for the children and young people Barnardo’s supports. Sadly this winter, more families are at risk of poverty, while the pandemic is wreaking havoc on children’s mental health. Too many children across the UK risk missing out on the joy of the festive season.”

“I’m hugely grateful to our friends and partners supporting this year’s Kidsmas Live, hosted by our fantastic President Natasha Kaplinsky. On behalf of all the children and young people we support, I’d like to thank our talented performers Jamie Cullum and Hussain Manawer and our generous partner Vodafone for making this possible. With their help, and yours, we can help raise vital funds to keep supporting vulnerable children through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.”

Helen Lamprell, General Counsel and External Affairs Director at Vodafone UK said: “We are delighted to be powering this year’s Barnardo’s Kidsmas Concert and helping to raise funds to support children and young people. Our focus throughout this crisis has been keeping the UK connected and we know this is especially important during the festive season. We hope families across the nation will tune in to enjoy a fun-filled evening of celebration.”

Barnardo’s is Vodafone’s charity partner for its Christmas campaign which includes ‘Light Up’ – a re-imagined 5G light display where children can see their Christmas card designs up in lights and that also makes bespoke e-cards for friends and family. Launching in December, for each card submitted, Vodafone will donate £1 to Barnardo’s which will be match funded by Vodafone UK Foundation[1].


Notes to editors
To register, and for more information on Barnardo’s Kidsmas concert, visit: Vodafone will power the text-to-donate service on the evening, allowing people to donate to Barnardo’s live throughout the event.  For more information about Vodafone’s Great British Tech Appeal please visit:

About the choirs

Barnardo’s are proud to work with youth and school choirs across the UK, supporting the charity in their work. One of the choirs, the Merthyr Barnardo’s Young Carers’ Choir, based in South Wales, gives young carers a vital opportunity for respite. With so many adult responsibilities, young carers often miss out on opportunities that other children have to play and learn. Led by the inspirational Cerian Rolls, the Barnardo’s Young Carers’ Choir comes together for two hours each week, rehearsing and performing, giving many of the young people a regular moment of joy and learning in their lives, which they otherwise wouldn’t get without Barnardo’s support

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 change the lives of 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.

[1] To a maximum of £25,000.

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

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

Registered in England No: 1471587