Donate your old phone to someone in need

July 24, 2023

According to Ofcom, 6% of UK households don’t have access to a smartphone. So if you have an old phone gathering dust in a drawer somewhere, it’s time to put it to good use.

That’s where Reconnected comes in.

What is Reconnected?

Reconnected lets you donate your old phone and pass it to someone in need.  When you donate, our partners will check it and pair it with the right cables and chargers.

We then work with charities to distribute them. We include 6 months Unlimited data, calls, and texts so they can be used straight away.   

What devices can you donate to UK charities?

You can donate any smartphone but it should be able to connect to 4G and ideally be less than 5 years old.

If for any reason your device isn’t suitable, our partner, Genuine Solutions, will recycle it sustainably. 

How to donate your old phone

Head to our Reconnected page and fill in the form to request a prepaid pack. Make sure you remove your data before you send it to us, then just pop it in the post. 

How will your old phone make a difference?

Your phone could connect someone without internet access, help someone to get a job, even allow a vulnerable person to get life-changing support.

John from Edinburgh got his phone through Scottish charity People Know How, in conjunction with Good Things Foundation. We asked him about how Reconnected made a difference to his life. 

Tell us a bit about your background

I spent a few years in the military, which was good but when I left, things didn’t fall into place like I thought they would… I’m a proud person and asking for help was never my strong point. I never thought I’d end up homeless and when I did, I lost a lot of hope about the future. 

How did you find out about Reconnected?

Getting work without a phone is harder than you think. It puts people off when they don’t have an email or a number to call you on and I was starting to get anxious about even having those conversations and that put me off going for interviews or job searching. 

It was a massive barrier to a lot of things. At one of my check-ins at the job centre, we were talking through options of how I could move forward. They told me about Connecting Scotland, and we had a good chat about what my options were. That’s how I found out about Reconnected at People Know How, a service that helps people get digital skills, devices, and connectivity. I had no idea something like that even existed. 

How did having a phone help improve your day-to-day life?

Getting that phone changed so much for me. I had options, a number, I could start moving things forward, didn’t have to rely on going to the library to search for jobs, I could just do it all from my phone. Checking on job applications or being able to talk to my support worker when I needed to, was really good. 

How are you doing now?

I’m in a much better place. Just even being able to chat to my family has made things a lot better for me, building back up some connections. I’ve also go involved in some of the digital groups that the charity I got the phone from have, so now I’ve started to get a bit more sociable and involved in things. 

What advice would you give to others in your position?

Looking back, my confidence was low but my pride was high, and it wasn’t easy to ask for help. I’d resigned myself to thinking I’d never get anywhere – I was surprised about the help and support out there actually, when I did finally ask. So, I’d say to anyone in that situation, you probably do have to go through things in your own head first, but getting a phone has given me so much more freedom now. 

A huge thanks to John for sharing his story – it really shows what a difference having a phone can make.

* we’ve used an alias for John to protect his anonymity.

If you’d like to donate an old device to help someone like John, head to our Reconnected page