Free mobile phones for charities offered

Utlity switching social enterprise SwitchAid has brokered a deal with Carphone Warehouse to offer free phones to charities.

Joe Lepper | 8th Jul 19
SwitchAid co-founders (from l-r) Carla Redpath, David Judge, Michael Gibbons and Dom Ryan.

A non-profit utility switching organisation is offering free mobile phones for charities as part of a new scheme.

SwitchAid is now looking for charities who are interested in the scheme, which involves receiving brand new phones on a SIM-only contract deal. Charities are urged to visit the organisation’s website by 31 July – there are 100 handsets available and the scheme is “first come, first served”.

The offer is being made through a deal with the retailer Carphone Warehouse and has been funded through a £100,000 investment from the North East Social Investment Fund.

Julie Wake, Investment Manager at Northstar Ventures, the North East venture capital company which manages the North East Social Investment Fund, said: “We were really impressed with the team and their ideas, and also how scalable their business model is. It’s great to see them growing and gathering momentum and, as well as being a social enterprise, they really are determined to help others in the sector in new and innovative ways.”

SwitchAid Co-Founder Dom Ryan added: “We’re delighted to be piloting this new scheme with Carphone Warehouse, and are now looking for charitable organisations who want to take part.

He added: “The investment from Northstar really helped us develop our business model and grow not just the team but also in confidence, so we feel we can approach big players to develop partnerships and innovative ideas with.”

Investing in delivering social impact

The North East Social Investment Fund invests in social enterprises with funds ranging between £100,000 and £1m. It targets organisations that deliver social impact and can reinvest money into social missions such as charities.

It is backed by Big Society Capital, Northern Rock Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Northstar Foundation.