A lady standing in her front door way, smiling while holding a computer tablet device

Get online with a free device and support from Phoenix

Updated: 7 July 2020 at 10:42am

This pandemic has shown that the internet is an essential utility for everyday tasks like ordering food shopping and paying bills, to entertainment and staying social for those who are more isolated. We want every resident to be able to enjoy the benefits of using the internet.

That’s why we’re providing digital devices and internet access to Phoenix residents who are digitally excluded. We want to remove the financial barrier of getting a laptop or tablet and offer added support so residents can make the most of their device and be confident online.

The devices are set up before hand and have how-to-guides built in for ease of access. Each resident who receives a device is paired with one of our resident Digital Champions who supports them to get online and navigate their device. Residents who have already received a device have learned to video call and begun to explore their interests from reminiscing Elvis classics to learning the Ukulele. 

Lily Buckley, 81, is one of our Bellingham residents who has recently received a free device. Lily had felt isolated and not a part of the community, and said getting a device 'is a new lease of life for me. Gradually I'm learning to video call my family and friends in Ireland'. Along with the device Lily was paired up with Digital Champion, and fellow resident, Nanssi Philippe, to help her get set up and offer her digital support. Lily adds, 'I've no confidence in using technology, having someone help me is fantastic.'

Hubert Alexander, 80, has been a Phoenix resident for 13 years. Hubert was already confident in watching TV and clips online but felt he could improve his knowledge of using the internet. Hubert has received a device and been connecting with his Digital Champion, John, through WhatsApp. He’s excited to use his device to keep in touch with his family and relatives in Canada and expressed ‘I’m extremely grateful. It will take me time to get used to it but I am confident I can learn how to use it’.

If you would benefit from receiving a free digital device and support to get online, or know a Phoenix resident who would, get in contact by emaling digital.champions@phoenixch.org.uk or giving us a call on 0800 0285 700. 

Want to help us support more residents to get online? If you've got a laptop or tablet that you'd like to donate or would like to help us purchase more devices, email digital.champions@phoenixch.org.uk.