A pilot scheme will see Virgin Media technicians collect donations from customers at the end of their installation appointments and drop them off at local foodbanks.
The trial is being run in Bournemouth alongside charity giving platform Neighbourly, and the idea is Virgin Media technicians will collect any food, toiletries and devices that customers would like to donate, which are then delivered directly to a local foodbank.
Customers in Bournemouth who have an installation booked will be sent a text notifying them of the service, and they can pack up anything they’d like to donate ahead of the visit, meaning they don’t have to go to the bother of schlepping down to the foodbank themselves. As well as food, customers can also offload their old tech, which will be given away to people facing ‘digital isolation’.
“We are committed to playing an active role in supporting the communities we serve, and we hope this pilot has a genuine impact on the Bournemouth Foodbank and the people it supports,” said Jeff Dodds, COO at Virgin Media O2. “I am so proud of our technicians who have volunteered their time to take part and support the community. If every customer we visit on a weekly basis in Bournemouth donated just one item of food, it could help feed more than 400 additional people over the course of our trial.”
Millie Earl, Fundraising Coordinator, Bournemouth Foodbank added: “At Bournemouth Foodbank we are currently providing food and essentials to over a thousand people a month, a third of which are children. This is nearly double the number of people we were helping this time last year. As the price of food has gone up, donations to the Foodbank have gone down. That’s why we’re really pleased to be part of the Virgin Media O2 scheme to help us plug the gap and continue providing emergency food parcels to the poorest and most vulnerable people in our community.”
The trial will run for eight weeks, and the ambition to expand it afterwards. For many, the cost of living crisis means tightening the belt by dropping some streaming services, but for others it can be far more serious – so we don’t mind giving a shout out when a telco launches a scheme that would appear to be helping out a little bit.