Back to News
community calling

Community Calling: Community spirit in the time of a crisis…

Whether you’ve been shielding, unemployed, working from home or returning to your place of work, 2020’s global pandemic has undoubtedly made connectivity even more important in our lives.

Nick R.
16/12/2020

Yet out of a crisis comes an opportunity with mobile phone recycling.

Earlier this year we partnered with the environmental charity Hubbub, mobile network O2 and south London support group Community Southwark to give less fortunate Londoners access to smartphones and a digital connection in an effort to bridge the connectivity gap. Now, after a successful trial which connected 538 people in Southwark, Community Calling is being rolled out nationwide.

Donate your electronics

COVID-19 has made connectivity a necessity. 77% of people surveyed cited their phone and the internet to be the best coping strategies during lockdown – a luxury that we don’t all share. Some of us are having to make the choice between paying for data or food.


Community Calling is helping to improve isolation for those in the most deprived parts of the UK.

The national rollout will see the campaign reach Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, South Wales and Glasgow, specifically targeting communities that are at risk of isolation, particularly during local or national lockdowns before the full rollout is completed in Spring 2021. 

Together with O2 and Hubbub, we have set an ambitious target of helping connect 2000 digitally excluded individuals before Christmas. And over the entire course of the Community Calling campaign, 10,000 smartphones will be refurbished by Reconome, donated to the most vulnerable by Hubbub and partner community groups, with O2 already committing 1600 devices and pledging 12 months of free voice and data on each donated device. 

O2 and Hubbub are also providing digital skills training alongside local community groups to ensure beneficiaries get the most out of their devices. 

A school boy holding a Refurbished Mobile phone

The impact of Community Calling has been incredibly positive. According to one beneficiary in Southwark, “the phone has made a big difference to my life. I don’t feel as isolated anymore.” And for another who had never used a smartphone before, “I’ve been able to connect with friends, peers and colleagues, and receive text alerts for medical appointments.”

If you’re an individual and would like to contribute to the campaign, donating your unused phones to Community Calling couldn’t be easier.

If you are an organisation and would like to make a larger bulk donation of devices, contribute with funds, or just help spread the word about this initiative, take a look at our guide or get in touch with us directly. We will take care of all the collection, data erasure, and refurbishment of the phones.