A new campaign plans to donate 1500 smartphones to Glasgow residents who don’t have digital access.
Community Calling, run by O2 and Hubbub, is urging Scots to donate old phones to allow others to stay connected with loved ones and access support services.
A new report by Ofcom estimates that more than 928,000 Scots do not have internet access at home while an average of four phones sit unused in homes across the country for every one mobile in use.
Around 155,000 tonnes of electronic waste is thrown away each year in the UK, but by donating old mobile phones to the campaign, more than 80 tonnes of Co2 emissions could be saved.
Stewart Barclay, 88, and Margaret Quaill, 80, who live in Glasgow have both received smartphones as part of the project, taking part in one-to-one sessions on how to use them hosted by the Alive & Kicking charity.
Stewart lives alone and his large family live across the UK whilst Margaret’s two sons live in the Bahamas.
The training sessions have taught the pensioners how to access different apps on their phone and the pair are looking forward to learning how to video call each other and their families.
O2 and Hubbub are encouraging local businesses and individuals to check their homes and offices for redundant smartphones and donate them to the cause.
All workable devices donated to Community Calling will be professionally data-wiped and cleaned before being redistributed, with 12 months of free data provided by O2.
The launch of Community Calling in Glasgow comes after the successful roll out of the campaign in London, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Cardiff and Swansea, with businesses so far contributing 3500 phones.
Mark Evans, chief executive of O2, said: “Connectivity has been vital to keeping the country running during the pandemic, but if you’re unable to get online you’re likely to miss out on a lot of support.
“We’ve already seen the positive impact Community Calling has had on vulnerable people in London, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Cardiff and Swansea – providing a lifeline for those most affected by the pandemic, so we’re pleased to announce this expansion to Glasgow.
“This campaign reflects our broader commitment to be there for our customers and the wider community, whenever they need us.”
To donate old phones, visit the Community Calling website for more details.