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How smartphones change lives

Earlier this year Curry’s donated an incredible 200 smartphones to us. Since receiving these devices, our team has been working to ensure they are ready to be passed onto individuals in our community and ensure those that cannot be used are used as parts and recycled fully. To date, 178 people in our community have received a refurbished Curry’s smartphone.

These devices have already had a huge life changing impact individual’s and the organisations supporting them, providing means of communication and improving outcomes.

The following report details the impact this donation has had on our local south London community, and highlights the ever growing need to be online and connected. These stories show just a snapshot of those who have little or no access to technology, and provide examples of different experiences, reaffirming that digital inclusion must be a priority for key decision makers in the UK.

At Community TechAid, we work with over 190 organisations in Lambeth and Southwark from schools, refugee groups and food banks to mental health support services and young carers.

The majority of these devices went on to support adults aged between 24 and 35 who are experiencing extreme changes in circumstance, such as fleeing their home country, and who more often than not were, or continue to be, in a temporary living situation or without a home.

All of our recipients are experiencing temporary or long-term financial hardship, with many one month away from losing their home or unable to pay their bills. As the cost of food, fuel and other basic necessities continues to rise and with no current plan for government intervention, we will see an increase in those unable to afford internet access, widening an already enormous divide. The percentage of the population who own a smartphone has increased year on year in the UK, reaching 92% in 2021. However this still leaves over 4.5 million adults in the UK without access to one. Many of the organisations we work with spoke of the difficulties they and their clients faced without a working smartphone. Arranging appointments, and connecting with vital support services becomes impossible and adds additional pressures and stress to services, their staff and their clients.

To read the full report click here.


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