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Staying Connected in our Living Well Schemes during Covid-19

During Covid19 government guidance to stay at home, the Living Well team searched for ways to keep tenants connected with family and friends to reduce isolation. Staff members researched the possibility of providing tenants with an electronic tablet to stay in contact with loved ones.

Staff were noticing that tenants were not mobilising as often due to Covid19 guidance, they investigated ways of providing exercises to tenants through the tablet devices to help tenants maintain and improve mobility from the comfort of their own homes.

Living Well staff asked tenants during daily welfare calls if they would be interested in having a tablet, they received a very positive response. Living Well staff then prioritised tenants to meet the criteria for funding.

ICT facilitator Anne Blackburn was already involved with a project run by Good Things Foundation to distribute free tablets to people who did not have a device or internet connection and were isolated due to Covid-19. Anne contacted the tenants individually to provide more information about tablets and the support that would be provided.

Eight tablets with MiFis have now been distributed to Living Well tenants to use to communicate with their loved ones. These were provided by DevicesDotNow. Two other recipients in Kendal have also received tablets and are planning to use them for internet shopping and a universal credit application. Anne Blackburn and Emilia Szulc will provide IT support by telephone.

The tablets were delivered to the tenants at Jenkins Crag Court on 13th August 2020 and Bramble Court on 11th September 2020. Anne met the tenants at Bramble Court for their first IT lesson, the experience was somewhat different with Covid19 restrictions in place. Keeping a social distance and disinfecting equipment and furniture made this a little more difficult for Anne, Anne wore a facial visor to enable her to communicate with tenants effectively. The tenants had no experience of using a tablet before this meeting and Anne taught them the basics to get them going.

Since the first lesson tenants have gave their feedback to Heather Nixon Manager at Bramble Court, they are over the moon with their new devices and have been busy practising the basics that Anne had taught them. One tenant has even explored the thousands of apps available that he could use. They are looking forward to the ongoing IT support provided by Anne.

Thank you to all those involved for making this happen.