National Databank

We will help 500,000 people who are cut off from the internet with a route out of data poverty, in partnership with Virgin Media O2, Vodafone and Three.

A Statement from Good Things Foundation and The National Databank Partners, Virgin Media O2, Vodafone and Three. Our response to the unfolding crisis in Ukraine:

We're deeply concerned about the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and want to offer our support to all refugees arriving in the UK.

The UK National Databank, powered by Good Things Foundation and its partners Virgin Media O2, Vodafone and Three, will provide free mobile data to those escaping war and persecution, and who are seeking refuge in the UK.

We invite all organisations who work with refugees to sign up to the databank.

We’ve put together a list of community partners in our network who might be able to offer refugees support during this challenging time.

About the National Databank

The National Databank provides free sims and mobile data (as well as talk minutes and texts) to people in need via Good Things Foundation’s network of local community partners. It’s 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 have 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. 

Following a successful pilot with Virgin Media O2, the National Databank has now been rolled out nationally and aims to reach even more people who are experiencing data poverty.

In January 2022 the programme expanded with mobile internet data from Vodafone as well as the O2 data that’s already been donated.

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 databank is open for new applications from community organisations. Please see our FAQ below for more information. You can also join one of our monthly Q&A sessions by signing up here

Please note that even if you are not a registered online centre, you can join the Online Centres Network in order to access the National Databank.  Joining our network is free and gives you access to digital inclusion support and resources, however, you are welcome to register just to access the databank.

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

 

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 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, you can find out more and register here

The application form for the National Databank can be found here. Applications will be reviewed following the end of each month.

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.

Our Partner

Virgin Media O2

Vodafone

Three