O2, Hubbub and Manchester City Council are working with local organisations across the region, to reduce the digital divide and help people get connected this Christmas and beyond.

O2 is expanding its partnership with charity Hubbub, with the aim to gift 2,000 unused smartphones to vulnerable individuals in Manchester.

The Community Calling campaign is a lifeline for people who are digitally disconnected and struggling as a result of the pandemic.

As part of the campaign, O2 will be donating 12 months of free connectivity to the beneficiaries, which will include unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB of data per month for a full year.

Digital connectivity has been vital this year. It was recently revealed that 2.7 million UK adults were unable to access the internet – a problem which has been amplified in 2020 – preventing people from keeping in touch with family and friends.

O2 and Hubbub are working closely with Manchester City Council to identify beneficiaries, including Young Manchester, Stepping Stone, Community on Solid Ground and Manchester Youth Zone, who will also be able to access digital skills training at local support centres, equipping them with the knowledge and tools to thrive in the longer term.

Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Skills, Culture and Leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, said: “The pandemic has brought into sharp focus just how beneficial the internet can be for everyday tasks and for keeping in touch with family and friends. We’ve been working extremely hard to ensure that as many of our residents as possible have the opportunity to use digital technology, providing laptops to vulnerable residents and friendly one-to-one support to learn to use them where required, while also keeping our libraries open in a Covid-safe way to provide essential internet access. We welcome this additional support, which will make a real difference to the lives of thousands more Mancunians, and also encourage anybody who has a smartphone they no longer require to donate it to Community Calling via one of our libraries.”

Gift your phone at your local library

Manchester libraries will act as drop-off venues, so please bring your old unwanted working phone there.  You can find out more about library services and the location of your nearest open branch here

Your phone will be refurbished by trusted partner Recono.me. It will be data-wiped, sanitised and redistributed with user guides and SIM cards.

Alternatively, those who don’t have an old smartphone can choose to donate the cost of one or two month’s top-up for the beneficiaries by visiting Community Calling

Do you know someone who has Internet access at home but doesn’t have the skills or confidence to use it as effectively as they would like? 

Whether you have a smartphone, tablet laptop or computer, free telephone support is available.  Support can be given on a wide range of things from turning your device on, setting up an email address, making video calls, downloading apps, booking your online supermarket shopping, accessing health information etc. 

Calls can be made in 15 languages, so if you’d like the call in a different language to English, please let us know.

To receive free telephone support from one of the organisations that provide Internet support in Manchester, do either of the following:

  • Text  07860064128.  Leave your name and area of Manchester where you live
  • Email digitalinclusion@manchester.gov.uk with the person’s details including their name and area of Manchester where they live