Virgin Media O2 and digital inclusion charity, Good Things Foundation, have opened the UK’s 1,000th National Databank Hub, providing free mobile data to help people get online and stay connected.

The National Databank provides free mobile data, texts, and calls, to help those most in need amidst the cost-of-living crisis. Through the databank, people can receive 20GB of free O2 data – enough for about 220 hours of internet browsing – per month.

TV personality, Gail Porter, who has experienced homelessness herself, visited a databank hub in Sheffield to speak with visitors impacted by data poverty. Porter said: “It’s a service that would have helped me to get off the streets more quickly when I was homeless. You can’t underestimate the power of being connected and being able to access important services and information on your phone.”

Nicola Green, VMO2 Chief Communications and Corporate Affairs Officer, said:

“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, Good Things Foundation Group Chief Executive, said:

“With two 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.”

The landmark 1,000th hub opened at Summit Learning Trust in Birmingham. Since the initiative’s launch in July 2021, VMO2 has provided more than 70,000 free O2 SIM cards and 50,000 free O2 data vouchers.

The National Databank can be accessed via a network of more than 650 participating community partners nationwide. This includes communities where people are most likely to be digitally excluded. You can find your nearest National Databank hub here.

Read the full release here