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InLinkUK from BT boosts UK Charities

Press Release   •   May 08, 2018 11:40 BST

InLinkUK from BT offers one-touch contact to four UK charities Childline, End Youth Homelessness, Runaway Helpline and Samaritans

One-touch contact on digital street units given to four charities:

Childline, End Youth Homelessness, Runaway Helpline and Samaritans

InLinkUK from BT, the service being rolled out across the UK offering free ultrafast Wi-Fi, phone calls and mobile charging, is joining forces with four charities to offer one-touch free lifelines on the street.

InLinks, the ultramodern digital street units offering the new service, will feature four charities on their tablet touchscreens: Childline, End Youth Homelessness, Runaway Helpline and Samaritans. Anyone who wants to contact one of the charities, for information or support, can connect to them by phone just by touching the appropriate icon.

InLinks’ range of free services include one gigabit Wi-Fi, the UK’s fastest free public Wi-Fi service, calls to UK landlines and mobiles, fast mobile charging and digital information including maps, directions, council services and the BT Phone Book.

The nationwide rollout has so far seen more than 145 InLinks installed in eight London boroughs, as well as in Leeds city centre, with hundreds more to be installed across the UK.

The charities appearing on the InLinks are:

Childline, started by Esther Rantzen in 1986, which is a free, private and confidential service that can help young people with everything from abuse and bullying to exam stress and relationships.

End Youth Homelessness, a UK-wide network of local charities that have joined forces to tackle youth homelessness. Member charities, including Centrepoint, house and support more than 26,000 young people facing homelessness.

Runaway Helpline, which is run by the UK charity Missing People and offers help and support to people who are thinking about running away, have already run away, or have been away and come back.

Samaritans, whose mission is that fewer people die by suicide, and its 20,000 volunteers are available anytime, via phone, email or face to face at 201 branches in the UK and Ireland. In 2017 Samaritans volunteers dealt with 5.7 million requests for help.

Nick Hale, managing director Ventures, said: “With the one-touch icons on InLinks, we saw an amazing opportunity, in a small way, to help these four charities who make such a huge difference to so many people’s lives. The InLinks’ free services,such as ultrafast Wi-Fi and phone calls, have proved a big hit, but this underlines our commitment that InLinks should play a positive role in local communities just as our much-loved red phone box did in the 20th century.”

Matt Bird, general manager, InLinkUK, said: “When we first started this project, we said that we wanted to make a difference in the communities we operate in. Connectivity is a big part of that and one of the reasons we offer ultrafast Wi-Fi and phone calls for free. By working with these key charities to develop the new charity tile on the tablets, accessible to anyone in need; we are continuing to use our InLink product to connect communities.”

Grania Hyde-Smith, national services communications manager for Childline, said: “We’re delighted to be on InLinks. At Childline we’re always looking at new ways to increase our reach and help as many young people as we possibly can. InLinks will help us to reach and support even more young people with issues they might need to talk to us about, such as bullying, mental health issues and abuse, so we’re very grateful to BT for supporting this venture.”

Paul McDonald, Samaritans director of external affairs, said: “Samaritans is delighted to be involved in this innovative project. We want to make it easier for people who are struggling to contact our volunteers, and we are grateful to BT for launching InLinkUK, which we hope will allow our service to reach more people.”

Paul Noblet, head of public affairs at Centrepoint, said: “Thousands of young people find themselves homeless each year, with no idea where to turn for help. Every moment they are alone and in limbo, they’re at risk of harm. That’s why we’re so grateful that the End Youth Homelessness Centrepoint Helpline will be featured on the tablet of the InLinks. The sooner we hear from young people at a time of crisis, the sooner we can provide the tailored advice they need to find a safe place to stay and on-going support.”

Paul Joseph, head of helplines, Missing People, said: “For many years children who have run away have used BT phone boxes to contact us for help, support and advice, at any time of the day, for free. It’s great that the InLinks keep this service open to people who need our help, not just by allowing them to make free calls, but also to access information and with the Wi-Fi access to be able to email or chat with us on their own phones or devices. It’s comforting to know that there is a visible and reliable place in their local area that they can use to access our help.”

Since the first InLink was installed in June last year, more than 66,000 people have subscribed to Wi-Fi, using enough data to download the equivalent of almost nine million songs, more than 419,000 free calls have been made and there have been more than 356,000 sessions on the tablet.

InLinkUK from BT is a partnership between BT and tech start up InLinkUK.

Notes to editors

*Notes on data

Quoted data collated 3 May 2018.

Almost nine million songs based on calculation - 1GB streams 256 tracks.

InLinks are currently available in Camden, Southwark, Islington, Hackney, Lambeth, Wandsworth and Tower Hamlets, Hammersmith & Fulham in London and Leeds city centre.

Childline

Childline was started by Esther Rantzen in 1986 and is a free, private and confidential service that can help young people with everything from abuse and bullying to exam stress and relationships.

For more information visit: https://www.childline.org.uk

End Youth Homelessness

In the UK every year, 83,000 homeless young people find themselves trapped in dire circumstances both at home and on the streets. EYH is a UK-wide network of local charities that have joined forces to tackle youth homelessness together. The funds it raises help its members to increase capacity, services and sustainability in extremely challenging times. EYH’s member charities house and support more than 26,000 young people facing homelessness.

For more information visit: https://www.eyh.org.uk.

About Centrepoint

Centrepoint is the leading charity for homeless young people aged 16-25. Centrepoint supports over 9,200 homeless young people a year directly in London, Manchester, Yorkshire and Sunderland, and through partner charities across the UK.

Centrepoint helps young people to turn their lives around by gaining essential life skills; tackling their physical and mental health issues and moving into education or employment.

End Youth Homelessness is a UK-wide network of local charities that have joined forces to tackle youth homelessness together. It provides a national platform to raise awareness, share experience and generate voluntary income.


It also runs the free-phone End Youth Homelessness Centrepoint Helpline for any young person aged 16-25 who is worried about homelessness. The helpline is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and the number is: 0808 800 0661

For more information visit https://centrepoint.org.uk

Runaway Helpline

Runaway Helpline has been supporting young people for many years and is run by the UK charity Missing People. Runaway Helpline offers help and support to people who are thinking about running away, have already run away, or if they have been away and come back. They can also help people who are worried that someone else is going to run away or if they are being treated badly or abused.

For more information visit: https://www.runawayhelpline.org.uk.

Samaritans

Samaritans was founded in 1953 in London, by a vicar called Chad Varah. He wanted to help people in distress who had no one to turn to. Samaritans volunteers can be contacted anytime, free from any phone, on 116 123 or via email jo@samaritans.org or you can go to www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch for face to face help.

For more information contact: https://www.samaritans.org.

About InLinkUK

InLinkUK is a tech start up offering InLinks, and new communications service InLinkUK from BT.

InLinks will replace a select number of pay phones in major cities across the UK.

Each InLink provides ultrafast, free public Wi-Fi, phone calls, device charging and a tablet for access to city services, maps and directions, connecting those who visit, live and work in urban hubs across the UK.

Hundreds of users within range of an InLink will be able to access free ultrafast Wi-Fi on the move, with speeds of up to 1Gbps - the fastest free public Wi-Fi service available.All paid for by the advertising on the screens and at no cost to the public or Council.

InLinkUK from BT is being brought to the UK by Intersection, the urban innovation company behind LinkNYC, and Primesight, a leading UK outdoor advertising company in partnership with BT.

Learn more athttp://www.inlinkuk.com

BT’s Wi-Fi network in the UK

BT operates the biggest Wi-Fi network in the UK, giving customers unlimited access to the most extensive coverage with more than five million hotspots.

Images:

For images, seeThe BT Media Image libraryandTelefocus - historical images from BT Archives

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2017, BT Group’s reported revenue was £24,062m with reported profit before taxation of £2,354m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit the About BT section

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