UK’s first ever National Device Bank is launched

Good Things Foundation is building the UK’s first ever National Device Bank with help from partner Reconome.

Good Things Foundation has joined forces with leading sustainable electronic refurbishing company Reconome – to create an environmentally friendly solution to digital and data poverty through the UK’s first ever National Device Bank. 

With 1.5 million households with no access to the internet (Ofcom, 2021) and 10 million people in the UK lacking basic digital skills (Lloyds CDI, 2021), digitally excluded people in the UK are being left behind. The pandemic reminded us that it’s not OK to leave millions of people locked out of essential services and support, locked out of jobs, savings, health and well-being, and locked out of connection with loved ones. The internet is an essential lifeline, and with the cost of living rising faster than ever, we need to act quickly. 

The National Databank is a partnership between Good Things Foundation and Virgin Media, O2, Vodafone, and Three UK. Together we will be supporting people with 500,000 SIMS through this national service delivered by thousands of community partners deep in disadvantaged communities. 

Now the National Device Bank will enable us to provide a refurbished device alongside mobile internet access to break down the barriers of affordable access. Reconome is our national tech partner, expert in IT logistics, data assurance, and sustainably refurbishing redundant equipment to give it a productive second life, with a special focus on helping excluded communities. Together we are creating a scaled solution that is good for the planet and will fuel digital inclusion. 

 We are building a national service to fix the digital divide with three essential elements:

  • Devices
    • Refurbished devices will be provided for free to people who can’t afford or access them through the National Device Bank
  • Mobile internet connectivity
    • The recipient will have access to free data connectivity through the National Databank.
  • Support to get online
    • Devices and data will be provided to people in need by thousands of hyperlocal community organisations and charities in Good Things Foundation’s Online Centres Network who will also support people to get online and develop the digital skills they need to thrive in today’s digital world.

Helen Milner OBE, Group CEO, Good Things Foundation: 

“We’re delighted to partner with Reconome, giving refurbished devices to people in need and  helping to tackle the digital divide. Organisations want to do more to tackle climate change – and many are aware that digital inclusion is essential to their overall mission – together we can do good things for the planet and for excluded people.

We want businesses and other large organisations to support the UK’s National Device Bank – contributing to a more sustainable and circular digital economy. We need your end of life technology so that we can help people in need across the country.” 

Nick Rawkins, CEO, Reconome said: 

“We’re incredibly motivated to be partnering with Good Things Foundation to bring our radically sustainable solution to life and to be moving the needle on digital inclusion. 

Our vision for tomorrow is a digitally thriving world where everyone has an equal opportunity to reach their potential – not only for those who can afford it. At a difficult moment in our history, and with the ever increasing social pressures placed on people across the country, our partnership with The Good Things Foundation will make significant strides to solve today’s biggest problems.” 

Eligibility

Your devices, equipment and/or funds will be donated to Good Things Foundation, so that we can run the National Device Bank as a sustainable digital inclusion service. With your help Community Organisations and charities will be able to provide free devices alongside free internet data to get people online who can’t afford internet access. The people who will have access to the service will:

  • Be 18+ years old 
  • AND be from a low income household 
  • AND have no access to a device.

For more information on becoming part of the refurbished devices programme, contact hello@goodthingsfoundation.org.