Broadband giant Virgin Media O2 has pledged £2 million towards a digital inclusion charity to help disadvantaged people across the UK get online and access key services via the internet.
The donation kickstarts the formation of a new partnership with the Good Things Foundation.
Virgin Media O2, says it will work closely with the charity to tackle digital exclusion and help one million people in need to access free connectivity, devices, and digital skills training.
The new scheme will help people who are unable to access the internet to carry out tasks such as booking medical appointments, applying for jobs, or accessing education and training programmes.
The initiative follows the launch of the National Databank scheme, led by the telecom provider and the charity. The scheme operates in a similar fashion to a foodbank – but offers free mobile data, texts, and calls for those who need it as the cost of living crisis continues to spiral.
Virgin Media O2 has pledged to donate more than 61 million GB of data to the scheme by 2025.
Spokesperson Nicola Green, of Virgin Media O2 said: “As part of our pledge to upgrade the UK, we’re proudly building on our partnership with Good Things Foundation to help connect a million people experiencing digital isolation, helping them to get online and learn vital skills so they can use the internet, access essential services and stay connected to loved ones,”
“Through our new sustainability strategy, the Better Connections Plan, we’re working to create a better, more connected country for everyone, and are providing data and devices to people most affected by the cost-of-living crisis so they can get online and stay connected.”
Helen Milner, group chief executive of the Good Things Foundation, said: “We’re thrilled to announce that Virgin Media O2 has become a strategic partner to Good Things Foundation – and will play a major role in helping us deliver our strategy.
“There are two million households that struggle to afford internet access in the UK today and 10 million adults lack the most basic digital skills.
“By the end of 2025, we want to engage one million people, helping them benefit from the digital world, and support 5,000 digital inclusion hubs across the nation to respond to local needs.
“In partnership with Virgin Media O2 and supported by this £2 million investment, we will expand our national digital inclusion network to support the National Databank and National Device Bank, helping to fix the digital divide for good.”