O2 is gifting data to Big Issue sellers this Christmas

O2 is gifting data to Big Issue sellers this Christmas
Ryan is an editor at TechForge Media with over a decade of experience covering the latest technology and interviewing leading industry figures. He can often be sighted at tech conferences with a strong coffee in one hand and a laptop in the other. If it's geeky, he’s probably into it. Find him on Twitter: @Gadget_Ry

O2 is getting in the festive spirit by gifting free data to hundreds of Big Issue sellers.

The free data, given as part of the National Databank initiative, will help the sellers to access essential online services and go cashless to help them grow their business.

Over 200 Big Issue sellers will receive 7GB of data per month in addition to unlimited texts and calls to help them keep in touch with friends and family.

Rodney Lyall, a Big Issue vendor based in Bournemouth, said:

“I can have a card reader, which increases my sales, but I need a mobile phone for that. I can now ring The Big Issue office when I need to, I can do banking on my phone. When I check my balance, I know how many magazines I can afford to buy that day.

And my family are in Newcastle and I’m in Bournemouth, so being able to stay in touch when we’re so far apart has benefits for my mental health and wellbeing.

You feel part of things.”

Data poverty limits work, social, and educational opportunities, while also increasing living costs and feelings of isolation. The so-called “digital divide” has been linked to poorer health and lower life expectancy.

A shocking 1.5 million homes in the UK are currently without internet access. To help counter the divide this Christmas, Virgin Media O2 announced earlier this month that it will gift 10GB of O2 data to the National Databank for every plan purchased between 1 November and 31 January.

Simon Valcarcel, Marketing Director at Virgin Media O2, commented:

“Data poverty affects many millions of people in the UK, so we set up the National Databank – with the help of Good Things Foundation – to help those most in need stay connected.

This Christmas, we’ve partnered with The Big Issue to provide over 200 of their vendors with access to the free data each month. The aim is to help them take mobile payments in an ever more cashless society, access the services that they need, and stay connected to loved ones.”

With high streets yet to fully recover from the pandemic, Big Issue vendors are struggling more than ever to make ends meet. The initiative from O2 will be a welcome hand during a particularly tough year.

You can support Big Issue vendors by purchasing a copy of the magazine from your local vendor. Alternatively, you can make a donation here.

(Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash)

Looking to revamp your digital transformation strategy? Learn more about the Digital Transformation Week event taking place virtually 30 November – 1 December 2021 and discover key strategies for making your digital efforts a success.

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