Vodafone Ireland has today announced a number of important measures to help the most vulnerable and isolated in Ireland during the COVID-19 crisis. To support older members of our society who are alone, in self-isolation and/or cannot see family and friends over the coming weeks, Vodafone is donating 1,000 new smartphones along with 2,000 x €20 credit top ups to ALONE, an organisation which supports older people in Ireland. The smartphones will be distributed by ALONE and its partners, who are working together to support older members of our community during these difficult times.
Vodafone Ireland has ensured that these smartphones are pre-loaded with a number of useful applications including WhatsApp, Facebook, Spotify, RTÉ News along with information about online food deliveries and other important phone numbers, including the ALONE national helpline.
Separately, Vodafone Ireland is making an emergency donation to Women's Aid so that the charity can provide immediate assistance and services to women identified as being under increased threat from abuse and violence during this time. The National Helpline is already hearing from women on a daily basis at a heightened state of alert, trauma and anxiety because of the emergency. According to Women’s Aid the current situation presents a perfect storm of circumstances, which is likely to see an increase in the number and the severity of incidents of domestic abuse.
Speaking on the announcement, Anne O’Leary, CEO at Vodafone Ireland said: “At Vodafone, we believe that technology and connectivity is vital, especially for those who may be more vulnerable and isolated in our communities during this very difficult time for our country. We want to ensure that wherever possible we keep people connected with family and friends, their local supermarket or any other critical services they may require. We are very happy to be able to support ALONE and Women’s Aid, organisations that are working tirelessly to ensure those in need are being cared for.
Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said: “We are hugely grateful to Vodafone for their support, particularly at this difficult time for all of us. This crisis is proving particularly challenging for older people and especially those who are most vulnerable and living on their own. It is vital that older people are able to reach the people and organisations they need, and that they know that while we all may be staying apart, they are not alone. This support from Vodafone will enable older people we work with to stay linked in, and able to access any assistance they need at this time. As we are all physically distant at the moment, staying connected is more important than ever.”
Under Government advice, Vodafone Ireland retail outlets will remain open, with reduced opening hours, to ensure that customers and businesses are supported during this time with access to top ups, remote working tools and connectivity support.
To ensure those most at risk are safe and get access to these services, Vodafone has implemented priority assistance for the elderly and for vulnerable groups from when stores opens until 12pm and until 2pm (Sun).
The services provided in store, that cannot be provided online include:
- SIM changes and replacements which, due to regulations, are largely dependent on physical stores
- Device repairs
The health, safety and well-being of Vodafone’s customers, team members and the wider community is the priority and procedures are in place to ensure retail stores are complying with all health and safety regulations and prevention measures recommended by the Government.