Susan’s Story

When the pandemic hit and lockdown engulfed the UK in March 2020, no one knew what was to come or to what extent it would isolate and cut off communities. Many of our service users like Susan were considered vulnerable and had to shield at home with little to no social contact from friends of family for an entire year. Read her story.

"Being able to FaceTime other members of the family for the first time was priceless"

While the digital world is skyrocketing, many people including the elderly and people affected by mental illness, are excluded either through lack of equipment or technical know-how. That’s why, together with Lloyds Banking Group, we launched our Digital Inclusion Programme to help people in this bracket get online during the pandemic and reconnect with their loved ones. We were so pleased we distributed 100 tablets to those who needed them most.

74-year-old Susan* is the carer for her grandson, who lives at home with her and has autism. She is part of a large family and during lockdown was unable to maintain contact with her new grandchildren and great grandchildren and see how they were growing up.

That was until, thanks to the support of our partners at Lloyds Banking Group, we were able to send Susan a tablet to make sure she had what she needed to keep in touch. Using her new device, she was able to train and interact on the Digital Inclusion programme and her grandson has been helping her practise navigating it too. She has greatly enjoyed the tablet and the realm of opportunities it offers.

This has been equally as beneficial to her grandson, who has sadly experience depression since lockdown started and is unable to leave home. He has also been shielding on behalf of his grandma which has made home life all the more difficult and pressurised. They recently Facetimed other members of the family for the first time and Susan’s feedback was that it was “priceless”. Clare*, her Mental Health Recovery Worker, told us: “the other side of things is it’s good for my mental health too as I know Susan is now connected and I don’t worry about her being isolated anymore”.

Please note: Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

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