How Virgin Media O2 is helping people stay connected this Christmas
Virgin Media O2 is helping more people in need access free mobile data this Christmas, by piloting the National Databank in 10 O2 stores across the UK.
The National Databank, founded by Virgin Media O2 and digital inclusion charity, Good Things Foundation, is like a foodbank but for free mobile data, texts and calls. Virgin Media O2 has committed more than 61 million GB of free O2 data to the initiative by the end of 2025.
Now, people can access the National Databank directly on the High Street via O2 stores and get 20GB of free O2 data per month for up to six months – that’s enough for around 220 hours of internet use each month. This will help people to access vital services and stay in touch with loved ones at a time when it matters most.
Helen Milner OBE, group chief executive at Good Things Foundation, said: “Having sufficient data in our increasingly digital society is not a nice to have, it’s an absolute essential. If you’re not online you can’t save money on products and services, help your children to participate in home-learning, and apply for jobs.
“With two million households struggling to afford internet access in the UK today – and 10 million adults lacking the most basic digital skills, everyone needs to do even more to build a movement for digital inclusion that leaves no-one behind.”
The O2 stores taking part in this pilot scheme are in towns and cities where the free data will help those most in need. This includes communities where people are most likely to be digitally excluded, or places where people have not been able to access the National Databank in their area before. The stores are: Ballymena, Broadstairs (Thanet Westwood Cross), Colchester, Hastings, Hull (Jameson Street), Norwich, Newport, Perth, Plymouth and Stockton-on-Tees (Teesside Retail Park).
Those eligible for the help can pop into one of the participating stores and ask an employee, who has been trained to use the National Databank’s platform, for a 20GB data voucher. The National Databank can also be accessed via a network of more than 650 participating community partners nationwide.
Giving the gift of data this Christmas
Virgin Media O2 is also providing an additional 1 million GB of free O2 data to help even more people stay connected this Christmas.
Special ‘O2 Christmas SIM cards’ are available in O2 stores nationwide and online while stocks last, with 7GB of free O2 data. The O2 Christmas SIM Card can also be gifted to anyone who needs it, and they can get a free O2 SIM card too if required, to ensure they can use the data and get online.
Gareth Turpin, chief commercial officer at Virgin Media O2, said: “We’re stepping up our support during the cost-of-living crisis to help even more people stay connected this Christmas.
“It’s now going to be easier than ever for those in need to access the National Databank directly on the High Street via our O2 stores, so they can get online and connect to essential services – from medical appointments to applying for jobs.
“And with our additional 1 million GB of free data available via special Christmas SIM Cards, Virgin Media O2 is helping more people get the data they need, so they can stay in touch with loved ones over the festive period.”
These measures build on Virgin Media O2’s £2 million strategic partnership with Good Things Foundation to help disadvantaged people across the UK get online and gain vital digital skills.
It’s all part of Virgin Media O2’s new sustainability strategy, the Better Connections Plan, which aims to create a better, more connected, and greener world for everyone.
Visit Virgin Media O2 to find out more.