1000th National Databank centre opened in UK
March 28, 2023
By Nik Roseveare
To help people in need stay connected, Virgin Media O2 and the digital inclusion charity, Good Things Foundation, have opened the UK’s 1000th National Databank Hub, part of the National Digital Inclusion Network, at Summit Learning Trust in Birmingham
The National Databank, founded by Virgin Media O2 and Good Things Foundation, is like a foodbank but provides free mobile data, texts, and calls, to help people in need to get online and stay connected to friends and family. People in need can access 20GB of free O2 data – enough for around 220 hours of internet browsing – per month.
Since the National Databank was launched in July 2021, Virgin Media O2 says it has provided more than 70,000 free O2 SIM cards and 50,000 free O2 data vouchers. Virgin Media O2 has committed more than 61 million GB of free O2 data to the initiative by the end of 2025 and, at the end of last year, brought the National Databank to the High Street for the first time, trialling the initiative at 10 O2 stores over the Christmas period.
Nicola Green, from Virgin Media O2, said: “With 1,000 National Databank Hubs now available across the UK, there’s more help for people in need than ever before so they can get online and stay connected to loved ones. As proud founders of the National Databank, Virgin Media O2 has committed more than 61 million GB of O2 data to help people get free data, texts and calls so they and their families can access essential websites, study and work from home, and keep in touch with their friends and family.”
Helen Milner OBE, Group Chief Executive, Good Things Foundation, added: “By reaching the important milestone of opening the 1,000 National Databank Hub – against the backdrop of the cost of living crisis – Good Things Foundation’s National Databank combined offer of devices, data and digital skills support is already helping to reduce the digital divide. But with 2 million households still struggling to afford internet access in the UK today, and 10 million adults lacking the most basic digital skills, 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.”