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Ellie Goulding and TaP Music come together with Crisis to secure phones for people affected by homelessness during the coronavirus outbreak

Ellie Goulding and her management company, TaP Music, have joined forces with Crisis in the collective effort to support people who are homeless in the coronavirus outbreak by sourcing 400 phones from EE to help people stay connected. Distribution of the phones begins today.

‘We’re all worried about coronavirus, but people who are homeless are particularly exposed to and threatened by the pandemic*,’ says Ellie Goulding a long-term campaigner on ending homelessness, and Crisis supporter. ‘Over the last few weeks we have seen an unprecedented and phenomenal effort to rehouse people sleeping rough by the government, local authorities and homelessness charities, but I have remained very worried about how many people will still need support. I’ve been determined to help keep them connected.’

To help with this initiative, Ellie joined up with her management team Ben Mawson and Ed Millett of TaP Music to source mobile phones preloaded with £20 data to supplement Crisis’s supply. ‘After calling many companies, we’re really grateful to EE for delivering and working with us to help with this emergency for people facing homelessness’ says Ben Mawson of TaP Music.

The phones sourced by Ellie and TaP Music will go to people that Crisis supports, as well as those currently in hotels across London.

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said: “The coronavirus pandemic is reminding us all how much we need connections with others, and we are relying on our phones and computers to stay in touch. But many people facing homelessness don’t have a phone or access to the internet. As the outbreak has unfolded, we have spoken to people who have felt profoundly anxious and alone, unable to get hold of information or stay connected. 

“Vital work has been done to move thousands of people into hotel rooms from the streets or from night shelters – but we need to ensure people continue to receive the support they need. By giving people phones, charities like Crisis can stay in touch and provide services such as advice, help with accessing benefits, and health and wellbeing support. We are incredibly grateful to Ellie Goulding, TaP Music and EE for playing an important part in the collective effort to help people who are homeless in this outbreak.”

‘In our homes we have our books, our TVs, our possessions that we’ve collected. People who are homeless will have very little,’ Ellie says, ‘Over the past few weeks they will have seen their communities disappear as cities emptied.  Many will be fearful and feel extremely isolated. Being able to stay connected may help to ward off isolation, but it will also help Crisis continue to deliver the check in calls and wellbeing catchups that we know are a lifeline.’

‘I know phone and digital access will make a difference in this emergency, but we still need more phones, and more support. There is huge unmet need everywhere at the moment, including funding for charities like Crisis on the frontline. I urge anybody who can to support the In This Together campaign.’

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer Division, said: "We are doing all we can to help in this crisis, from donating a thousand tablets with connectivity to the DevicesDotNow programme for the most in need, to removing broadband caps for all our customers, offering unlimited data, calls and text for the vulnerable customers we have, and most recently given unlimited mobile data for NHS workers for the next 6 months. We’re proud to be able to partner with Ellie Goulding and TaP Music on this great initiative to help people facing homelessness.”

Anybody who is inspired by Ellie Goulding to contribute to supporting people who are homeless during this period, can donate at In This Together, the homelessness emergency fund. Money raised will help to keep Crisis’ services running - and those of local grassroots homelessness charities who are struggling in these unprecedented circumstances.