Smartphones donated to people who have experienced homelessness

Tesco Mobile and Clarion Housing Group, the UK’s largest provider of affordable housing, have donated 550 smartphones to St Mungo’s clients to keep people experiencing homelessness connected to vital services during lockdown and thereafter.

The generous donation will enable clients to stay connected with friends and family more easily, as well as ensuring they can access welfare, banking and employment services even when lockdown restrictions are in place. Clients are also being supported to access virtual courses from the charity’s Recovery College such as ‘My smartphone my world’ which supports clients to learn how to use their new devices.

St Mungo’s Recovery College offers a wide range of opportunities to choose from: everything from core skills areas – digital, numeracy and literacy – to vocational training in construction, and courses which boost wellbeing and confidence, such as gardening, arts and music.

In July, St Mungo’s announced a three-year partnership with Clarion Housing Group which aims to not only raise funds, but also leverage shared expertise and resources to tackle the causes of homelessness and support people in their recovery.

Kate, St Mungo’s client, said: “Having the classes online throughout the lockdown has been incredibly helpful for my state of mind, I’ve suffered with depression and anxiety for many years and it’s made a huge difference for me.”

“There’s so many things I’d like to learn how to do on my smartphone. It’s all very exciting and one day, I’d even love to be able to teach one of the recovery college courses myself.”

Steve Douglas CBE, Chief Executive, St Mungo’s said: “We are delighted to receive these smartphones for our clients. It is taken for granted that everyone now has a smartphone. This is not the case.

“The generous donation will help clients to keep in contact with key workers, health services and family and friends, and the positive impact on our clients’ wellbeing is immeasurable.

“Thanks to Tesco Mobile and Clarion who are helping to support our mission to end homelessness and rebuild lives.”

Clare Miller, Chief Executive of Clarion Housing Group, said: “We’re proud to be working with St Mungo’s to tackle homelessness and support people off the streets. We hope this project will help people stay connected in this difficult time and speed their progress into secure homes.” 

Tom Denyard, CEO of Tesco Mobile, said: “At Tesco Mobile we care for human connection. Since the beginning of COVID-19 we have donated phones, devices and connectivity to over 100 causes and communities supporting the vulnerable, disadvantaged and people experiencing homelessness.

“Charities, like St Mungo’s, do such vital work in reconnecting people with society, so it was our privilege to offer them the support they needed to keep their clients connected.”