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What Charities Take Old Mobile Phones in the UK?

Written by, Andriana Moskovska

Updated August, 16, 2022

Donating your old mobile phone is a great way to help out an individual in need and get rid of a device that’s taking up space in your drawer. 

But, what charities take old mobile phones in the UK?

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the charities that accept phone donations, explain how you can donate your old phone, and list some alternatives.

How Donating Your Phone Helps End Poverty?

Phones, gadgets, and computers lose their value over time, especially considering the fact that most of the British people buy a new phone every two years. Older models eventually stop receiving new system updates and reach a point when they become unusable. 

Regardless of their state, there are charities in the UK, which accept donations in the form of gadgets, that recycle mobile phones and/or offer to refurbish and donate your phone to someone who needs it.

Some charitable organisations might even sell the phone (after it’s been refurbished) and use the money to secure meals and clothes for individuals in need.

Top 4 Charities In The UK Where You Can Donate Your Phone

Donating your old phone to a charity is a great way to make sure that your old working phone is put to good use.

If you want to donate old phones to a charity in the UK, here are the 4 most popular charity organisations that will know what to do with them:

Little Lives

Little Lives in the UK is a children’s charity.

One of the several projects that the organisation has launched is the Technology Programme whose goal is to make sure that more children get access to electronic items and help improve their education and career prospects.

Little Lives accepts old mobile phones and tablets and sends them to schools, youth clubs, councils, and other charities as part of the program.

Oxfam

Oxfam is a well-known charitable organisation in the UK that’s regularly involved in various campaigns to help alleviate poverty, fight for human rights, and ensure more people get access to education.

One of the ways you can donate to the organisation is to give them your old phone. 

If the phone is in a good working condition, Oxfam will refurbish and repackage it and donate it to someone who needs it or sell it and use the money to buy tools, seeds, school books, and water tanks, among other things. 

If the phone is unusable, the organisation will send it to its environmentally-friendly partner CTR which can recycle old phones and repurpose their parts.

Age UK

Age UK is a charity that has been around for over 70 years and offers many services to elderly citizens in the UK.

Age UK doesn’t have a tech program, but it accepts anything that can be recycled, including phones, electrical items, gadgets, books, paper, and textiles. The organisation uses the funds it secures to support those in the later stages of life. 

Tesco Mobile

Tesco Mobile is a mobile phone service provider in the UK that allows customers to return their old phones when they’re buying a new one as part of their pledge to reduce carbon emission and pollution. 

The company sends all phones to its recycling partner that checks if they’re in an excellent working condition. If that is the case, the phone is refurbished and reused. If not, the organisation removes the parts of the phone that can be reused and sends them back to production. 

Things To Consider Before You Donate

Individuals looking to donate old mobile phones to charity in the UK should do thorough research before sending their old devices to a charitable organisation. 

Some charities don’t accept phones in a poor condition and most require that contributors perform a factory reset on their devices to remove all data, including installed apps. Always remember to backup important data, before doing your factory reset!

Here’s how you can do a factory reset on your phone:

Apple Devices:

  1. Go to the Settings.
  2. Select General preferences.
  3. Tap on the Reset button.
  4. Check the ‘Erase All Content and Settings’ option to confirm your choice.

Android Devices:

  1. Go to the Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap System preferences.
  3. Select Advanced Settings.
  4. Tap on the Reset button.
  5. Tap ‘factory reset’ or ‘erase all data.’

Where To Trade In Your Phone?

The easiest way to donate your old phones is to give them directly to the charity of your choice. 

But, if you want to donate to a charity that doesn’t accept old phones as donations or can’t find a charity that works with used electronic items, you can trade-in your phone and make a profit out of it

Here are some organisations that buy, sell, and recycle old mobile phones:

Envirofone

Envirofone is one of the most popular phone recycling companies in the UK. They refurbish, sell, or recycle mobile phones, tablets, and smartwatches.

The company accepts damaged devices as well but will buy them for a lower price.

To sell your phone to Envirofone, you’ll have to register on the website and send your phone to the company for inspection. Once they finish the testing process, they’ll get back to you with a price offer based on the phone’s condition. 

If you accept, the company will send the money directly to your bank account, usually on the same day. 

Mazuma Mobile

Mazuma is one of the oldest phone recycling firms in the UK that boasts a reputable phone trade-in service.

Unlike other trade-in services, Mazuma offers fixed quotes based on the phone’s model and memory capacity. Before sending your phone for inspection, you’ll have to register on the Mazuma website, find your phone model and select how much memory it has. 

Mazuma will then provide a trade-in quote and ask you to send the device for testing. When the company confirms that the phone you’ve traded is the same as the model quoted, it will send you the money to your bank account. 

Fonebank

Fonebank is another popular recycling company in the UK where individuals can sell their old mobile phones for charity. It accepts both working and non-working models, but it doesn’t buy phones whose screens don’t work or devices that don’t charge. 

They still repurpose or recycle old mobiles, regardless of their condition –you just won’t be able to make any profit if the phone is unusable. 

Like Mazula, Fonebank offers fixed prices based on the phone’s model, memory capacity, and working condition. 

Worth noting: Fonebank works with Oxfam and offers anyone that sells their phone on their website to donate the proceeds of the sale (or a part of it) to the charity organisation. 

Bottom Line

Donating phones to charity can not only help you get rid of electronics that are taking up space in your home but it can also help someone less fortunate. So, next time you find an old phone lying around, consider giving it to a charitable organisation where it will either be recycled or refurbished and given to someone that needs it.

Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers

Do charity shops take old mobile phones?

Yes, some charity shops accept old mobile phones. They often recycle phones that are no longer usable and refurbish devices that are in working condition.

How to dispose of old mobile phones securely in the UK?

You can dispose of it via your local council’s ‘small electricals’ recycling program, either through the local recycling centre or the kerbside collection.

What can I do with my old mobile phones?

You can either sell your phone to a recycling company or donate it to a charitable organisation. If you want to donate a phone, you’ll need to find out what charities take old mobile phones and visit their websites to find out what they do with the donated phones.

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