O2 donates £1m to help raise funds for BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief.

O2 today announced it has become a partner of The Big Night In Appeal, a joint initiative and event which will see the BBC’s biggest charitable partners, BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief, come together for the first time to help raise money to provide essential support to local charities, projects and programmes across the UK to help those most in need. The partnership will see O2 donating £1 million to The Big Night In Appeal. The TV Show, The Big Night In, will be broadcast on BBC One on Thursday 23rd April, 7 – 10pm and will feature an update to the UK on what the mobile network operator has been doing to support the country, the NHS and its customers during the COVID-19 pandemic with specially filmed videos featuring customers and O2 employees.

The news comes as mobile networks continue to play a crucial role in keeping the nation connected, enabling people to stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues during this unprecedented period. With voice traffic on the O2 network peaking at almost 60% more than usual during the first weeks of lockdown, the network continues to increase its capacity, providing support to those who need it most.

In recognition of the challenges that people are continuing to face, O2 is supporting its customers in a variety of ways, including unlimited voice minutes for consumer pay monthly customers and zero-rating access to NHS websites and an additional 22 sites offering financial guidance and advice, such as Citizens Advice and Mind.

O2 is also committed to supporting the valuable work of the NHS, helping frontline staff on O2 stay connected. From Thursday 23rd April O2 will be giving NHS staff a free 10GB bundle of data each month, for a three month period, so they can stay in touch worry free*. O2 is also providing free voice calls and data for 2,000 devices to be used by patients in NHS Nightingale sites, keeping people connected with loved ones as they recover. Working with Samsung, the first batches of Galaxy XCover 4s phones have been delivered to Newcastle, Harrogate and Bristol NHS Nightingale sites, with more scheduled.

This follows O2’s recent work to install additional temporary network capacity at the ExCel centre in London and Harrogate Nightingale hospital, part of the mobile operators continuing work with NHS Trusts to assess mobile connectivity in current and proposed hospitals across the country. The O2 arena has been made available as an NHS training facility, initially operating from 12th April – 29th June 2020. Staff trained there will go on to work at the NHS Nightingale field hospital at ExCel London. The NHS will be using this as an educational training facility to prepare staff and no patients will be treated on site.

Mark Evans, CEO, O2, said; “Digital connectivity is more important than ever and we’re proud to be supporting The Big Night In Appeal, showcasing the great work everyone is doing to support their communities. We remain committed to doing everything we can to help keep the nation connected during this unprecedented period.”

The Big Night In on BBC One will celebrate the acts of kindness, humour and the spirit of hope and resilience that is keeping the nation going during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic with a special night of programming. This is the first time the BBC’s biggest charitable partners, BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief, have come together and the aim of the evening is to celebrate and reward those going the extra mile to support their communities in these troubled times.

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*terms and conditions apply. See http://www.o2.co.uk/covid-19 for more information

To find out more and donate to BBC TBNI, please visit http://t.co/DJd1qYDo5A?amp=1

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on:
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