Those struggling to keep up with rising costs will soon be able to access a 'data foodbank' in Norwich.

O2 have revealed that their Norwich store in Chantry Place will be one of 10 to take part in the scheme, which will allow people to access the national databank to receive 20GB of free mobile data per month for up to six months.

The scheme is aimed at people aged 18 and above who come from low-income households and struggle to get access to a reliable internet connection for vital services such as job searches, interviews, training and education.

Virgin Media O2 said the areas chosen for the pilot scheme included communities where people are most likely to be digitally excluded or places where people have not been able to access the databank before.

Ballymena, Colchester; Hull, Newport, Perth, Plymouth; and Stockton-on-Tees are among the other places chosen.

The network operator's chief commercial officer, Gareth Turpin, said. “We’re stepping up our support during the cost of living crisis to help even more people stay connected this Christmas.

“It’s now going to be easier than ever for those in need to access the National Databank directly on the high street via our O2 stores, so they can get online and connect to essential services – from medical appointments to applying for jobs.”

The operator has also announced it is providing an extra one million gigabytes of free data via special Christmas sim cards to help those lacking connectivity to stay in touch with their friends and family during the festive period.

Helen Milner, group chief executive of the Good Things Foundation, which co-founded the national databank with Virgin Media O2, said: “Having sufficient data in our increasingly digital society is not just a nice thing to have, it’s an absolute essential.

“If you’re not online you can’t save money on products and services, help your children to participate in home-learning, and apply for jobs.

“With two million households struggling to afford internet access in the UK today – and 10 million adults lacking the most basic digital skills, everyone needs to do even more to build a movement for digital inclusion that leaves no-one behind."