Innovative hi-tech help for socially isolated people in Wirral
Hundreds of tablet computers have been distributed to people in Wirral who are isolated and alone to allow them to keep in touch with friends and family during the coronavirus lockdown.
Age UK Wirral, Vodafone UK and Wirral Council are working together to distribute more than 250 tablets, each with Vodafone data included to ensure the tablets are ready to be used. The activity is also being supported by The Steve Morgan Foundation, LCR Cares Fund & National Emergencies Trust and Wirral Lions Club who have helped fund the scheme.
Age UK Wirral are now leading the distribution of the devices, which will go to people who are most in need. This includes older people living alone and carers of people with dementia who would normally benefit from Age UK Wirral’s day opportunities. This follows day centres across Wirral having been forced to close due to Covid-19 and the requirement for social distancing.
The tablet computers will be used for:
- Exercise videos
- Live broadcasts
- Tackle isolation with mindfulness and relaxation techniques
- Tuition and learning
- General socialising
- An audio newspaper
- Reminiscence groups
Jamie Anderson, Chief Executive of Age UK Wirral said: “I am extremely grateful to everyone who has supported this scheme. Covid-19 is a frightening time for all of us, but for those people who are isolating alone at home or who are isolating whilst supporting someone living with dementia, it is absolutely vital that we find ways of keeping people in touch with others. Our digital team has worked extremely hard to develop a remote training package that will help us to get people up and running on their tablets and we will be there every step of the way as we support people as they embark on their digital journey.”
Helen Lamprell, Vodafone UK’s General Counsel and External Affairs Director said, “The current health crisis is affecting us all, but particularly the vulnerable in society. We are passionate about keeping the UK connected during this difficult time as technology plays a huge part in fighting the feeling of isolation. We are delighted to be working with Wirral Council on this initiative and hope this connectivity goes some way to ensuring that residents can keep in touched with loved ones and do not feel they are on their own.”
Graham Hodkinson, director of Wirral Council’s adult social care, said: “While many of us will have family around during the lockdown, some people don’t and this can be a very frightening time. This is a great project to allow some people who would not otherwise be able to keep in touch to stay connected with their family and friends. My thanks to all those charities who have pitched in to help with this and to Vodafone who supplied the SIM cards and have worked with the council and our local charities and voluntary sector.”
The first 150 tablets have arrived and were delivered by Age UK Wirral last week (w/c 20th April). A further 100 are also due to arrive and be distributed in the coming days.