National Databank

The National Databank is providing free data to 500,000 people in need via Good Things Foundation’s network of community partners, in partnership with Virgin Media O2, Vodafone and Three.

The National Databank provides free mobile data, texts and calls to people in need via Good Things Foundation’s network of local community partners. Think of it like a ‘food bank’ but for internet connectivity data. Community organisations can apply to access the databank, enabling them to provide data to people in their communities who need it.

Building on the work of the Data Poverty Lab, we developed the UK National Databank to help thousands of vulnerable people in communities across the UK to get connected. The databank has been built with support from Virgin Media O2 and with data donated by Virgin Media O2, Vodafone and Three

The people being supported by the UK National Databank are cut off from the basic daily activities most people in our country take for granted. They are cut off from contacting loved ones, from job interviews, from finding essential health or other information online, and cut off from digitised public services. We believe that no-one should be left behind. The UK National Databank brings free mobile internet data connectivity to people who can’t afford it and who are often also experiencing multiple inequalities in today’s society. 

We want this to be just the start; we’re calling on the rest of the UK’s mobile networks to join the National Databank, working together to end data poverty for good. 

The National Databank is open to community organisations who are members of Good Things Foundation’s Online Centres Network. Joining our network is free and gives you access to support and resources. However you are welcome to join just to access the National Databank. Find out more and register here or join one of our monthly Q&A sessions here.

Already part of the network? The application form for the National Databank can be found here

It’s great that you want to be involved – we need cross-sector support to ensure we find sustainable solutions to tackling data poverty. Let’s start talking – contact us now.


We are now rolling out the Databank more widely, enabling us to support more people experiencing data poverty. 

Someone receiving data through the National Databank must: 

  • Be 18+ years old 
  • AND be from a low income household 

And qualify in one or several of the following statements: 

  • Has no access or insufficient access to the internet at home
  • AND/OR has no or insufficient access to the internet when away from the home 
  • AND/OR cannot afford their existing monthly contract or top up 

A person can have access to data for up to 12 months.

You can get help through our network of Online Centres. Find your local centre by clicking the button below.

You can find details of your nearest Online Centre here. Our Learn My Way and Make It Click websites can help you increase your confidence and basic skills – click the button below to find out more.

Applications are now open for community organisations to be a part of the National Databank. Staff and volunteers at the Online Centres taking part in the programme will assess the needs of people they already support. They will use the Databank to obtain data and then share it with people they support for up to 12 months. 

The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the digital divide. People are facing an unthinkable choice between mobile data and food. Making a financial donation today could help transform someone’s life through digital. Together we can fix the digital divide.


What is data poverty?

Data poverty is when a person can’t afford sufficient internet access to meet essential everyday needs - it means not being able to access jobs, banking, health appointments and benefits.

Through our Data Poverty Lab, we want to build on - and learn from - existing approaches. We want to collaborate with public, private and community sector organisations to develop sustainable solutions to end data poverty.

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Supporting people with data connectivity (Broadband and mobile data)

This guide is for charities, community groups and organisations which reach and support people who are struggling to afford the internet because of poverty and the cost of living. It is especially for organisations which are not specialist providers of debt or money advice.


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