The 33-year-old singer has teamed up with British charity Crisis to support rough sleepers stay connected during the ongoing health crisis, and each handset has been topped up with £20 of data.
Ellie – whose management team TaP Music got involved – said: “We’re all worried coronavirus, but people who are homeless are particularly exposed to and threatened by the pandemic.”
Phone distribution – which started on Wednesday (15.04.20) – comes after a number of different measures have been introduced to help those in need.
The ‘I Need Your Love’ hitmaker explained her desire to help rough sleepers stay “connected” during such a difficult time.
She added: “Over the last few weeks we have seen an unprecedented and phenomenal effort to rehouse people sleeping rough by the government, local authorities and homelessness charities, but I have remained very worried about how many people will still need support. I’ve been determined to help keep them connected.”
Jon Sparkes – chief executive of Crisis – underlined the importance of this project.
He explained: “The coronavirus pandemic is reminding us all how much we need connections with others, and we are relying on our phones and computers to stay in touch.
“But many people facing homelessness don’t have a phone or access to the internet.
“As the outbreak has unfolded, we have spoken to people who have felt profoundly anxious and alone, unable to get hold of information or stay connected.”
Ellie urged her fans to back the In This Together campaign, and added that while the phones will “help to ward off isolation”, there are other benefits.
She said: “In our homes we have our books, our TVs, our possessions that we’ve collected. People who are homeless will have very little.
“Over the past few weeks they will have seen their communities disappear as cities emptied. Many will be fearful and feel extremely isolated.
“Being able to stay connected may help to ward off isolation, but it will also help Crisis continue to deliver the check in calls and wellbeing catch-ups that we know are a lifeline.”