Virgin Media O2 launches £400k device lending scheme

Virgin Media O2 and Hubbub, an environmental charity, have announced that they have launched a £400,000 device lending scheme to provide smart phones and tablets for people in need.

Virgin Media 02 and Hubbub, an environmental charity have announced that they have launched a £400,000 device lending scheme

The companies say the scheme – entitled the Tech Lending Community Scheme – which was originally established in 2022, aims to tackle digital exclusion and electronic waste by providing second hand devices to people in need.

The devices will also include free O2 mobile data to enable people to get online.

Alex Robinson, CEO of Hubbub, said: “The Tech Lending Community (TLC), in partnership with Virgin Media O2, has shown us the tangible impact a second-hand device coupled with free connectivity can have on someone’s life.

“Beneficiaries of the project have been able to access job support and stay in touch with friends, things that those of us who own smart devices can take for granted.

“Hubbub is thrilled to be launching a second phase of TLC, working alongside homelessness charities Thames Reach and Centrepoint, as well as Refuge, a charity supporting women and children experiencing domestic violence, to provide an additional 520 tablets and smartphones for them to lend to their service users.

“We are proud to continue doing work to bridge the digital divide in the UK, whilst keeping tech in circulation for longer.”


Under the new round of funding, more than 500 tablets and smartphones are being donated to homelessness charities, Centrepoint and Thames Reach.

Refuge, a charity that supports women and children who have experienced domestic abuse whom received 250 tablets from the initiative in 2022, will continue to receive funding and support to run their device lending scheme.


Dana Haidan, chief sustainability officer at Virgin Media O2, said: “We know that having data and devices can be a lifeline for people in need, enabling them to access essential websites, from applying for jobs, to accessing medical appointments, and to stay in touch with loved ones.

“That’s why initiatives like The Tech Lending Community scheme and National Databank are vital in addressing digital exclusion and data poverty and help to transform people’s lives in communities across the UK.”


The project is supported by Reconome which has sourced and refurbished the second-hand devices.

The initiative forms part of Virgin Media O2’s sustainability strategy, the Better Connections Plan.

Since the launch of the Tech Lending Community scheme, more than 750 people have been loaned a tablet for up to six months at around 50 community centres, temporary accommodation or refuge sites nationwide.


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