Low-income families can stay connected over summer with free mobile data from the National Databank
New research reveals low-income Brits are worried about affording mobile data to keep their children online over the school holidays, the National Databank is here to help.
New research reveals low-income Brits are worried about affording mobile data to keep their children online over the school holidays. Parents with a household income of under £15,000 are concerned their mobile data usage will increase over the summer break and they’ll have to spend extra on data to keep their families entertained and educated.
Created in partnership with Virgin Media O2 and with mobile data from Vodafone and Three, the National Databank provides free mobile data, texts and calls for people in need at nearly 1,300 National Databank Hubs across the UK.
Virgin Media O2’s new research reveals:
- 81% of those with a household income of less than £15,000 say their family’s mobile data usage will increase over the summer holidays
- Seven in 10 say they’ll struggle to afford to keep their kids connected
- More than three quarters (77%) are also worried they’ll have to pay more to keep their households online, with low-income Brits grappling with the cost-of-living crisis estimating they’ll spend an extra £27 over the holidays on mobile data to keep their children occupied.
The study also found almost half of low-income Brits (45%) believe their children won’t have the same access to the internet at home over the holidays compared to when they’re at school during term time, with 28% feeling they’re letting their children down as they can’t afford to keep them connected.
Almost a third (31%) are worried their children will be isolated over the summer holidays as they will be cut off from speaking, messaging or playing games online with their friends, with almost a quarter of parents (24%) worried their children’s mental health will suffer.
Parents are also concerned their children will fall behind with their studies, with more than half (51%) stating their children can’t access online learning, such as online videos to practice phonics or maths, as they won’t have the same access to computers they’d normally have at school.
Free mobile data to keep families online
To keep families connected, we created the National Databank with our founding partners, Virgin Media O2. The National Databank is like a foodbank but provides free mobile data, texts and calls for people who need it.
Parents can access 20GB of free data per month for six months, along with texts and calls, which is enough for around 220 hours of internet browsing per month, at nearly 1,300 National Databank Hubs nationwide. People can find their nearest National Databank Hub here.
Dana Haidan, Chief Sustainability Officer at Virgin Media O2 said:
“As the summer holidays begin at such a financially challenging time for low-income families, we know many parents are worried about keeping their children online and entertained over the break.
“That’s why we’re helping families stay connected with the National Databank where they can access 20GB of free O2 mobile data every month to help their kids stay in touch with their friends and up to date with their learning, supporting their mental health and wellbeing, too.”
Helen Milner OBE, Group Chief Executive, Good Things Foundation, said:
“The cost-of-living crisis is affecting families in the UK more than ever, as these alarming statistics show. Parents and families – so many of whom are already struggling with day-to-day living – shouldn’t be worrying about staying online over the school holidays.
“That’s why Good Things Foundation and Virgin Media O2’s National Databank is tackling digital exclusion through a combined offer of devices, data and digital skills support. With 1 in 20 UK households having no home internet access, collectively we all need to do more to help the most vulnerable people in our society connect with digital.
“This underpins our 2022-2025 strategy, asking for more ambitious and far-reaching change as we scale up and expand our work in the UK. Together, we can fix the digital divide – for good.”
Tamara, a mum of three from Birmingham, who receives O2 mobile data from SmartLyte – Get Families Talking, a National Databank Hub based in the city, said:
“The data means that I can continue working over the summer holidays and the children can learn, keep up with homework and play games together. They can contact their friends and video call their grandmother. It would be a really difficult summer without the data.”