Vodafone and Daily Mail partners for connectivity

Vodafone has announced that it is working with the charity Mail Force Computers for Kids initiative to extend its schools.connected programme intended to help children who are struggling to complete lessons and schoolwork because of poor quality internet connection.

Vodafone’s schools.connected programme has already handed out 350,000 free SIM cards after launching in November. These have been distributed to over 9,000 schools and further education colleges to give to pupils most in need. By teaming up with the Mail Force initiative, the programme will provide an additional 150,000 free SIM cards with 30Gb of data. This means another 500,000 pupils will now be able to be online.

Mail Force was set up by the Daily Mail and General Trust during the first UK lockdown to help healthcare workers and volunteers obtain essential personal protective equipment (PPE), but now it has a new goal of providing school equipment and resources for pupils across the UK learning from home.

Headteachers can request a maximum of 80 for a secondary and 50 for a primary. SIM cards are allocated on first-come-first-served basis, but priority is given to areas with higher numbers of free-school-meal pupils.

Ahmed Essam, CEO, Vodafone UK said: “We are delighted to be working with the Mail Force Computers for Kids initiative to continue our schools.connected programme. Getting connectivity into the hands of children and young people who need it the most has been our priority throughout the pandemic. By working together we will be able to extend the programme to reach half a million young people right across the UK.”

Vodafone is also actively encouraging the UK public to donate to the Great British Tech Appeal in support of Barnardo’s. The appeal calls on the UK public and businesses to donate unwanted smartphones and tablets. Vodafone will cover postage and repackaging, add six months free unlimited data connectivity and – via Barnardo’s – redistribute the devices to disadvantaged children and families. This follows a successful summer appeal that helped almost 2,500 people across the UK.

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