VODAFONE has donated 1,000 brand new smartphones to charity.
The phones will be distributed by ALONE, an Irish charity that provides support and training to older people who are homeless, socially isolated, living in deprivation or in crisis.
During the coronavirus crisis, many elderly people will be isolated from their friends and family.
The donated phones will help these individuals stay in contact with loved ones.
As well as the new smartphones, Vodafone has also donated 2000 €20 credit top-ups which will also be distributed by ALONE, its partners and their dedicated volunteers.
A spokesman for the telecoms giant said: "Vodafone Ireland has ensured that these smartphones are pre-loaded with a number of useful applications including WhatsApp, Facebook, Spotify, RTÉ News along with information about online food deliveries and other important phone numbers, including the ALONE national helpline."
Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said: “We are hugely grateful to Vodafone for their support, particularly at this difficult time for all of us.
"This crisis is proving particularly challenging for older people and especially those who are most vulnerable and living on their own.
"It is vital that older people are able to reach the people and organisations they need, and that they know that while we all may be staying apart, they are not alone.
"This support from Vodafone will enable older people we work with to stay linked in, and able to access any assistance they need at this time.
"As we are all physically distant at the moment, staying connected is more important than ever.”
As part of this effort, the mobile phone firm will also offer the elderly priority assistance up to 12pm Monday to Saturday and 2pm on Sundays.
Vodafone Ireland has also made an emergency donation to Women’s Aid to help support the charity during a time when many women are under increased threat from abuse and violence.
According to Women’s Aid, there has been a spike in the number of calls received from women in a state of alert, trauma or anxiety because of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.