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18.02.2021
O2 and Hubbub to help most vulnerable in Bristol

With the country still in lockdown due to the pandemic, O2 and Hubbub are further committing themselves to supporting the digitally excluded by donating 1,000 devices and 12 months of free data (6GB per month) to vulnerable people across Bristol.

With support from The Aviva Foundation, Bristol beneficiaries will also benefit from money tips and guidance from financial wellbeing experts, Clean Slate, to help manage tight household budgets.

The Community Calling campaign is a lifeline for people who are digitally disconnected and struggling as a result of the pandemic. Following a successful launch which saw smartphones donated in a handful of London Boroughs, Manchester and Leeds, the campaign is now rolling out to Bristol, helping people to get connected in the wake of rising inequality, poverty and employment challenges.

The Bristol launch of Community Calling is directly addressing the financial exclusion that often goes hand in hand with a lack of connectivity. For those without access to the internet it's difficult to access services and discounts that support financial wellbeing - and this has been made more challenging by the pandemic.

Digital connectivity has been vital over the past year: preserving economic output, helping businesses adapt and keeping us close to the ones we love. However, too many people are digitally excluded. It was recently revealed that 2.7 million UK adults (5%) were unable to access the internet in the three months before August 2020[1] - a problem which has been amplified in our socially distanced era, preventing people from accessing family, friends or other essential networks of support.

In Bristol, O2 and Hubbub are working closely with award-winning education consultants Sustainable Hive, who are delivering the project on the ground, including identifying beneficiaries.

One beneficiary of the Community Calling campaign is Pat, who's in her late 70s and feels very isolated at home, due to not having a smartphone or internet connection. With her new device, Pat will be able to access online support services and information, as well as taking part in social events again - this time virtually.

The Aviva Foundation has provided funding for the roll out of Community Calling in Bristol to ensure that the campaign benefits mid-life to elderly low-income households across the city, who struggle to access financial wellbeing support.

Phones will be distributed through a range of local organisations, including Bristol Drugs Project, AgeUK and Ambition Lawrence Weston, all working in partnership with O2, Hubbub and Sustainable Hive.

All beneficiaries will also be able to access digital skills training at local support centers, with support from Bristol Council, as well as money guidance from Community Interest Company Clean Slate Training & Employment.

Source O2; viewed: 28 times.

By:
Adam Łukowski




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