It’s estimated that over 20 million phones are left unused in homes, and it’s handsets like these that the Reconnected team wants to redistribute to those in need. There are over 15 million adults who don’t have smartphones in the UK, which can leave people feeling isolated or behind when it comes to using technology, applying for jobs and staying in touch with their friends and family.
Reconnected, asks members of the public to donate unused smartphones to Three, who are working in partnership with the team at Genuine Solutions to relove and redistribute these devices to disadvantaged members of the community. The scheme focuses on three key partners who each help alleviate some of the key issues facing society today:
Good Things Foundation: The UK’s leading digital inclusion charity, working to fix the digital divide. Good Things Foundation will identify people in need through its network of community partners, including those escaping war and persecution who are seeking refuge in the UK.
Business in the Community: Working to build a fairer and more sustainable society, phones donated to Business in the Community will go towards people trying to enter employment.
LetsLocalise: A digital social platform with a network of over 600 schools and 100 businesses, LetsLocalise aims to provide the best educational opportunities to students across the country through innovative features that nurture and sustain community development and engagement. In the last two years, LetsLocalise has already impacted the lives of over 50,000 students, and they are well on their way to fulfilling their mission of empowering a million students.
Prior to the distribution of these handsets, they are received at Genuine Solutions’ recycling and recovery hub in Surbiton, where the devices are processed. This involves the handset being securely wiped, tested, having the latest software upgrades installed as well as being paired with a matching charger and data cable (USB cord). The handsets are then sent to community organisations who distribute the devices to individuals selected from community initiatives.
Those who receive a device via the Reconnected scheme are also given three months free access to the Three network allowing them to go online, sign up to job alerts and make important calls without having to worry about the costs.
“We are delighted to be involved and to be able to support wonderful schemes such as Reconnected. Knowing that we are able to help people get online via the donated handsets so they can find a job and get their lives back on track is extremely rewarding for us.”
Genuine Solutions CEO, Christian McBride said, “We are incredibly proud to support such a great initiative and to have partnered up with Three UK. As a recovery and recycling business this type of project is at the heart of our operation. We are delighted to be involved and to be part of a wonderful schemes such as Reconnected. Knowing that we are able to help people get online via the donated handsets so they can find a job and get their lives back on track is extremely rewarding for us.”
Vicki Blenkarn, Director of Engagement at Three says, “Reconnected is a simple but very effective way to help those in need to get online. Initially, we rolled the scheme out internally and the feedback from our employees has been fantastic. We are therefore so excited to launch Reconnected with the public to get even more people involved. Whether it’s keeping in touch with family or checking updates on job websites such as LinkedIn, phones have become part of our lives. Handing over an unused phone is a small gesture that can make a huge difference.”
To donate an old smartphone, simply go to your nearest Three store and ask for a Reconnected freepost envelope.