A really good call for people with Parkinson's

Last week, we launched a first in the charity world - pay-monthly mobile phones that donate money to Parkinson's UK. Here, Rachel Backshall, our Head of Business Development, explains how the project came about.

"It seemed like a very simple idea; develop a mobile phone that lets people donate to the charity when they use it. 2 years later, it is fantastic to see the project finally come to fruition.

"Phones for Parkinson's started out as the brainchild of one of our supporters, Charles Easterman, who had started to have trouble using his mobile phone after being diagnosed with Parkinson's. Charles set us the challenge of developing an app that would make phones easier for people with Parkinson's to use. While developing this app, it dawned on us that our foray into phones could go one step further.

"Mobile phones were increasingly being used by charities through various 'text to donate' schemes, but we wanted to turn the simple act of using your mobile phone into a way to raise funds - and Phones for Parkinson's was born.

"Having already worked with Talking Telecoms to look at how people with Parkinson's were able to use a smartphone - we decided to team up to see if we could make this project a reality.

"Using Talking Telecoms' existing relationship with Orange, we were able to strike a deal where four tariffs and four popular handsets could be offered to customers, with 45 per cent of the profits from the cost of the handset and ongoing monthly bills being donated to us. We hope to raise £50,000 from this partnership in the first year.

"Although the project is still in its infancy, the reaction to the idea has been fantastic and we are already looking into how we can develop the project further, expanding into pay-as-you-go sims and other apps and accessories.

"We are really excited to see how Phones for Parkinson's will grow and with the number of active mobile phones in the UK now outnumbering those who live here, we can finally say that it really is 'good to talk'."

To find out more about Phones for Parkinson's, visit the dedicated pages on our website or call 020 3476 2626.
Paul Jackson-Clark, Charles Easterman and Rachel Backshall at the launch of Phones for Parkinson's

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