Euro PR Group

November 27, 2006 02:00 ET

Make The Right Call - Oxfam Wants Your 118 Calls

Need a number? Now you can dial with your conscience and use 118 918, the new directory enquiry service that donates 9p from every call to Oxfam

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 27, 2006) - A new directory enquiry service launched today has pledged a 9p donation to Oxfam from every call dialled. The new 118 918 service hopes to provide users of established directory enquiry services with a strong motive to switch. By offering the same service at the same price as market leaders, the caller can give to a worthwhile cause at no extra cost to themselves. Spiritel plc, the company launching the service hopes that the guarantee of 9p to Oxfam will be a strong enough proposition for people to switch to 118 918.

In the last 12 months UK callers spent GBP180 million on directory enquiry services. If everyone who called 118 services last year, had called this new 118 918 number, over GBP32 million could have been donated to Oxfam.

Research carried out prior to the launch of the new 118 number indicated that current directory enquiry usage is, in the main, based on memorable numbers rather than brand loyalty. The research also showed that over seventy percent of regular 118 users said they would consider using a service, which benefited a charity in some way. This clearly suggests that given a choice, people would opt for a service that donates a proportion of the call cost to a charitable cause.

Edward Fox, Oxfam's Director of Fundraising welcomes the partnership and hopes the new 118 918 number will become the obvious choice for people using directory enquiry services regularly. "This is a great new opportunity to raise new funds for Oxfam and we urge UK consumers to take the number onboard and help us help others. So whether it's a plumber, a taxi, the nearest dry cleaners or just a tasty takeaway dinner that is needed, calling 118 918 is the easy way for people to give to Oxfam's life saving works."

To provide a snapshot of how calling 118 918 could make a difference in the future, a breakdown of directory enquiry usage from the past 12 months has been analysed across nine key regions of England. If all directory enquiry calls had been made to 118 918 this is an example of the invaluable assistance Oxfam could provide to those living in poverty.

London (London, Uxbridge, Staines, Lea Valley) - GBP7,068,288

4,157Classrooms could be built and furnished

South East (Berkshire, Kent, Southern Counties, Solent, Oxford) - GBP4,966,728

465 Mango plantations
15,040 Farmers could be given training
13,431 Toilets could be built
36,977 Teachers kits
38,667 Emergency shelters could be provided

South West (Cornwall, Gloucester, Somerset, Wiltshire, Bristol)GBP2,793,498

360 Job opportunities for a village (tools, animals, seeds, trees)
19,220 Goats
315 Mango plantations
21,043 Toilets
48,579 Mosquito net sets

East Anglia (Essex, Norfolk, Cambridge, Suffolk) - GBP1,973,367

437 Kits to filter water
18,720 Donkeys
20,721 Condoms kits
123,318 Text books

East Midlands (Derby, Leicester, Lincs, Northampton, Notts) - GBP1,544,232

140,000 Buckets to filter and clean water could be supplied
13,056 Goats could be bought
137,607 Mango saplings
5,500 Farmers could get water supply
18,056 Condom kits

West Midlands (Coventry, Warwickshire, Hereford, Worcs, Shropshire, Stoke,
W.Midlands) - GBP5,377,025

16,257 Tool kits for farmers could have been purchased
332,463 Sets of 12 school text books
6,516,600 School dinners
12,442 Donkeys
1,953 Fully equipped classrooms

Yorkshire & Humberside (York, Leeds, Humber) - GBP2,791,201

72 Job opportunities for a village (tools, animals, seeds, trees)
93,690 Allotments (one allotment can feed one family)
8,968 Orphans or vulnerable children could be cared for

North West (Cumbria, GMR, Lancs, Merseyside) - GBP3,161,064

435,000 Trees could be planted
153,150 School dinners for children could be provided
86,130 Goats could be bought and given to villagers
1,313,250 People could be provided with safe water

North East (Cleveland and Newcastle) - GBP2,724,580

7,400 Villages could be given Medicine kits to provide essential medicines for the whole village
1,240 Mango plantations could be planted

The new 118 918 directory enquiry service has been launched by telecommunications services company, Spiritel plc in partnership with Oxfam.

Photography

Photography of the 118 918 launch - which involves nine giant 1p coins being rolled through the streets of London to highlight the new service - will be available to download from www.papicselect.com by 12pm on Monday 27th November. Alternatively please contact Jason Bird, EuroPR on jbird@europgroup.com or 07939 131365.

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Notes to Editors

- Directory Enquiry statistics from 2005/2006 are provided by Cable and Wireless and Performance House (118tracker.com), analysed by Spiritel plc.
- Independent qualitative and quantitative research from Kable and Leapfrog Research and Planning.
- Further regional breakdown figures are available upon request.
- Research carried out for Spiritel on usage of directory enquiry numbers can be made available on request.

About Spiritel

Spiritel plc (AIM: STP) is the holding company for a growing group of telecommunications companies that provide a wide range of traditional and VoIP communications services to customers within the telecoms industry and in the wider corporate and SME markets.

Spiritel joined the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange in July 2004. For further information please visit www.spiritelplc.com

About Oxfam

Oxfam is a campaigning, development and aid organisation working in over 100 countries around the world. Funds raised through the 118 918 directory services number will come into Oxfam as unrestricted funds. This means using the money where it is needed most. For every one pound 84p is used to support emergency, development and campaigning work 13p is reinvested in generating future income 3p is spent on essential administration

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