TECH

Three Wants To Give Your Old Phone To A Homeless Person To Help Them Get Back On Their Feet

'That tiny little device could really change someone else's life.'

02/02/2017 10:43 | Updated 02 February 2017

When was the last time you upgraded your smartphone, and put your old handset into a cupboard never to be seen again? Yeah, us too.

Now Three wants us to all put our smashed screens and old models to better use by donating them to its new non-profit programme, Reconnected.

Rather than seeing how much we can get for it on eBay or handing it to a less-tech-savvy relative, the high-street retailer is encouraging customers to do something good.

“Sure, you could give it to a family member or sell it and pocket the extra cash, but what if that tiny little device could really change someone else’s life for the better,” said a spokesperson.

Instead you give your handset a second lease of life with an owner who cannot afford to pay for their own phone or contract.

According to Three, there are almost 15 million such people in the UK, unable to enjoy the luxury of a smartphone and over 20 million of us with unused devices lying around. 

jax10289 via Getty Images

Reconnected is partnering with a variety of charities to get the technology to those people who need it most, whether that is a young homeless person, a recent military veteran, or a victim of domestic abuse.

But anyone who has a smartphone knows that much of the expense comes paying your monthly bill, not shelling out for the device. 

So those who receive a device via the scheme will also be given three months free access to the Three network allowing them to go online, sign up to job alerts and make calls without the cost hanging over them.

After the period is up, they can go into any store and set up a contract with the phone they already have.

Mary, 58, from Hertfordshire was given a phone, and explained how it changed her life: “Before I got my smartphone, I was terrified of technology. I wanted a job, so I knew I needed to get online.

“My employment advisor helped me to develop my confidence and by the end of the three-month programme, I was emailing prospective employers and talking to my employment advisor via email...it has opened so many doors for me.”

If you want to take part in Reconnected, all you need to do is go to your local Three store and collect a pre-paid envelope to send your device away.

2017 is looking up already.

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