Knowledge Base

Unlock a phone, Unlock a...

handy giff-staffer tom
handy giff-staffer

I posted a blog last week about how giffgaff wants to be a positive force for change.  One of our core values is that we should be doing things for the collective good. giffgaff has a positive environmental and social stance. While we’ve be doing some thing’s since launch, we could be doing more, my blog last week alluded to this however I didn’t mention how we were going to do this.


A while back, we were talking about how it's amazing to read so many comments in the Forum and Facebook from people feeling a sense of freedom once they escaped their restrictive mobile contracts and got on board with giffgaff. When someone mentioned that people locked into contracts were like battery hens stuck in their cages the idea of freeing caged hens seemed a nice thing to do. With a bit of post rationalising it made quite a bit of sense too:


We want to free more people from contracts and let people know that unlocking a phone isn’t illegal.  We want to do something disruptive, different and help out. We could also free battery hens that are in need of new homes, especially as the EU have banned caged battery hens by 2012, which means a lots of hens need re-homing.


This idea then evolved a bit more: Unlock a phone, Unlock a chicken - for each person that unlocks their phone and joins giffgaff through our Chicken campaign, a battery hen will be re-homed. It combines the message we want to portray with something we believe in.


I went to meet Wood Green, The Animals Charity to talk to them about the process of re-homing, which was an insightful experience.  Wood Green care for and re-home over 5,500 animals including the introduction of re-homing ex-battery chickens in 2008.  They take in chickens from Battery Farmers who no longer want or need them.  They work to rehabilitate the battery chickens, as most have had a bit of a rough time, bringing them back to being happy and healthy chickens.  I’ll post a separate blog on this later this week but through this campaign we have the opportunity to help 1000’s of chickens get re-homed. Wood Green run purely on denotations from the public (so they are on a shoestring, a lot like us) so it’s great that we can help out.  It’s also great to support a UK Animal charity.  And Battery chickens can go from this…..


This is a battery chicken, three days after being freed from a Battery Farm to Wood Green.

 Chicken batt 1.JPG


This is the amazing rehabilitation of a chicken, ready for re-homing a few weeks later!


Chicken 2.JPG


This is just the first of a number of exciting initiatives that have been designed to do ‘something for the common good’. I appreciate there will be loads of opinions about the types of charities that we/individuals could and should support – I’m sure you’ll be respectful of everyone’s varied opinions, and the hard work that Wood Green largely voluntary staff are trying to achieve.


Just in case people are wondering, no Blackberry’s or Data goodybags, were hurt in the forming of this campaign, this is a separate work stream and in no way has been delayed or effected by this idea.


Tonight I'm going to talk to a friend who takes in chickens once they are rehabilitated and need a new home, to find out more about this.  In the mean time it would be great to hear how many of you would support us with this campaign so please let us know your thoughts.


While this new initiative is about promoting giffgaff to an audience that hasn’t yet heard of us - our existing members can help too by supporting all the new people that come to our community – I’m sure you’ll make them feel at home.  





Good News, Good to see that the EU have banned caged battery hens , does anyone know what the new law means?


eg What the dimensions for fensed chickens would be? Or did the EU law not cover this?


I'm might just unlock a phone and port in and give that phone to my mum. Just to save a little chicky Smiley Happy


FINALLY they are following through on that "ethical" claim. Let's home this translates into humane customer treatment too Smiley Happy


Excellent - what a great idea - we've been meaning to build a chicken house for ages so we can do this, you only need a relatively small bit of garden, it'd be like heaven for these poor buggers.

lives and breathes giffgaff
Our PSA has just given the school money to get appropriate fencing etc so the school can get some of these hens to be housed in the grounds. As a boarding school there is always people on site and during long holidays the local children would be able help out ( local kids attend as day pupils) Will be intresting to see how it all works out Smiley Happy
totally fried after reading that, its the breast thing iv read today though. Nice to see someone taking the chickens under their wing.

Is that it?! Didn't eggspect that to be honest but a nice thing to do. All the speculation just left egg on the faces then Smiley Wink


Had a vision about rehab of chickens in dressing gowns getting fed soup whilst they lay in comfy beds Smiley Very Happy


Morale of the tale - don't try and second guess giffgaff - their minds are something else Smiley Wink


oh dear lol

for each person that unlocks their phone and joins giffgaff through our Chicken campaign. Why not be a bit more caring, and give a chicken a home for exsisting customers too? Otherwise the idea wont be to 'save a chicken' but just a publicity stunt.

I am absolutely bemused by this idea?


What happens to the chickens? Where do they go when they are rehomed?

I would like to think this is a good idea, but I need more information, just so I can discount the nagging feeling this is an ethically-washed campaign to make people feel good, rather than making a real difference.


I mean where do all the eggs go, that these chickens lay? Into all the baked goods, mayonaise, and other eggs based products that most of us eat, I would imagine...


I hope it does make some people think about the things they buy, and the welfare of the animals they use/eat?


Hopefully that is the point of this campaign. And if it is, I hope it works...


Cheers, andy



Always buy free range eggs here. The campaign may also help people to consider eggs as they are a fabulous food - rich in many nutrients, cheap and versatile too. Smiley Happy