GCVS distributes over 1400 phones for Community Calling Project

GCVS has been helping to drive a circular economy project in Glasgow called ‘Community Calling’.

The project provided more than 1400 smartphones to people who are digitallyMan holding phone excluded, including a year’s free data. The team at GCVS were delighted to receive and distribute phones to around 90 charities across Glasgow who have been sharing them on to the people they support. Organisations such as homelessness charities, those working with asylum seekers and refugees, or supporting vulnerable families, have all helped drive the initiative.

Glasgow City Council supported environmental charity Hubbub and GCVS to deliver the Community Calling project, which not only benefits those receiving the phones, but also maximizes the lifespan of the discarded phones and reduces waste.

Devices were collected, cleaned and data-wiped before being distributed to someone in need. By including 12-months’ free data, provided by O2, users are no longer digitally excluded. Access to free digital skills training is also available, for those who need it.


What difference has it made?

Kevin Carroll, Operations Manager at The Space, community project said:

“The Community Calling project really complemented work we were already doing with GCVS on digital inclusion. Gus, who is in his 60’s, had never had a touchscreen phone before and struggled with literacy. After coaching him with the phone he received, it not only helped his ability to communicate, he’s also developed new digital skills which is a massive jump for him.

We support lots of people on Universal Credit for whom having the phones has really helped with looking and applying for jobs, but also supporting them in their transition into employment.”

The Younity Project at Annexe Communities in Partick was delighted to be able to share 45 iPhones through the Community Calling project.

David Donnelly, Digital Inclusion Worker for Cassiltoun Housing Association said:

“The project makes a tangible difference to people’s lives. Whether it’s upgrading from a basic phone to access vital services or replacing a broken phone to contact loved ones, we see people’s wellbeing improving vastly thanks to this lifeline.”

Milk Café, who run a weekly women’s group in Glasgow’s South Side, also shared feedback from some of their phone recipients:

“Getting a phone to make calls to my lawyer was really helpful to me speak with her and has helped me a lot.”
F, from Syria

“I lost my phone and I had no way to replace it because it is a lot of money for me. The MILK Cafe really helped me with the new phone and now I can speak with my family again.”
L, from Venuezela

“Having free data every month has helped me with my college zoom classes and speaking with my teacher.”
J, from DRC

GCVS Chief Executive Ian Bruce said: “The team at GCVS is delighted to work with partners to distribute these phones to people who need them. It’s a fantastic project and a great example of how local charities can reach people who can otherwise be missed.”

Find out more
Both individuals and businesses can donate their old phones simply by visiting hubbub.org.uk/communitycalling. You will receive a free post envelope with which to post your device back. The only requirements are that smartphones (e.g. iPhone, Android) do not have cracked screens or backs, and that they hold their charge.

Woman holding phone

Read other news from the GCVS team here, including more on the Glasgow Wellbeing Fund which is supporting over 300 community wellbeing projects in Glasgow.

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