We calculate that there may be more than 10,000 people in Wolverhampton aged 75+ who are not connected to the internet and could benefit from it.
How you can help…
- Become a Sim Sister: Pay for a sim with 6gb data for 6 months (£60 per person).
- Digital Buddy: Offer one to one volunteer support for someone to help them develop skills.
- Donate (yes help the environment!) recent (no more than 3 years old) Android or Apple phones or tablets for refurbishment / re-use.
- Help clean and re-set donated equipment.
- Donate a very large sum so we can establish a social enterprise to do much more of this…
If you would like more information on the project, please email Linda Stone at WVSC on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who you can help…
Here are the stories of some of the people who’ve so far benefitted from our pilot, could you help more people like these?
Jim’s digital Garden
“Jim” is 89 years old. He has a desktop computer but struggled to use it. Now he joins commjunal Zoom meetings can send emails and print documents. He is joining in with the gardening group we are starting. “Support from S2C has been really patient and encouraging” Jim has only one niece, so was very isolated, “this has opened up a whole new world for me.”
Jen’s journey back to work?
“Jen” is in her 50s and has mental health difficulties and physical health conditions. She lives alone in an upstairs flat, craves connections and misses the groups she used to spend time with.
Jen used the sessions with Support to Connect to learn about data and phone contracts and how Zoom works. “Covid19 made me realise how out of date I am and how essential it is to everyday life.”
Jen now comes to our Zoom coffee mornings, which she enjoys. But she is limited because she does not have wifi so can only come for as much as her data will allow and her phone is so old it overheats after a short while. She is in a phone contract that does not really work for her. So she misses out on more connections.
Jen wants to get back to work so is interested in taking short courses online. The mobile phone screen is so small, so she needs newer kit, with a larger screen size.
A tablet with a data allowance would transform Jen’s world as she could become a learner at various places running online classes and could start to reconnect with her community again, especially with the winter months arriving. It could mean she ultimately returns to work and regains her sense of purpose and self esteem.
Aisha’s will to learn, foiled for the want of some data.
“Aisha” was one of the very early referrals to the Support to Connect project. With the lockdown she struggled to access services and even pay her bills as she was not digitally connected. She enrolled to learn how to send emails, but constantly struggled with having sufficient mobile minutes and data.
Aisha eventually dropped out because she couldn’t afford to top up her phone. She needs support with a reasonable smartphone and a few months of data. With that the drive to learn can connect her and help her manage her finances.