• James Szumowski

Smartphones for Vulnerable Communities

Updated: Feb 28

Smartphones aren't a luxury, they are a lifeline.

Did you know on average you pick up your smartphone 58 times a day?

What would you do without it?

We hope to raise £4000 to buy 50 4G enabled smartphones for patients of Kings College Hospital. We are delighted to confirm that each phone will be given with 6 months of unlimited texts and calls plus 20GB of data, courtesy of Vodafone. We have a stretch target of £8000 which would allow us to purchase 100 smartphones and help even more people.

A grateful device recipient!

One woman explained how unsafe and vulnerable she felt without a reliable phone in an apartment she cannot leave without assistance. Cut off from family and friends, her newly impaired mobility has added to her feeling of isolation and mental distress.

Every pound you can contribute will make a real difference.

This project is in partnership with Community TechAid who collect, recycle and distribute internet enabled devices to those in need.

So why are we doing this?

People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are commonly affected by breathlessness and fatigue, often becoming isolated from friends and family as a result. The coronavirus pandemic has significantly added to this isolation, with many unable to leave their homes for the foreseeable future.

The most effective treatment for COPD is an exercise programme that is usually delivered in classes in local hospitals, community centres or remotely using a internet video platform.

Kings College Hospital learnt that 32,000 patients across the UK, did not have access to the internet, meaning many vulnerable people cannot access much needed remote help.

The Bigger Picture

There is huge demand for smartphones for those on very low incomes, who are often housebound, living in temporary accommodation, hospitalised or living alone with complicated medical conditions. Many are using food-banks, so being able to afford a phone with internet connectivity is impossible for them.

Without a phone and even basic internet access, it's impossible to connect with vital support services, make doctor’s appointments, and keep in touch with loved ones.

The last 12 months have pushed many members of our marginalised communities further into poverty. The effects of lockdown, increased living costs, imminent cuts to benefits and increased taxes continue to exacerbate existing inequalities. Digital exclusion presents a further barrier as access to the internet has become a necessity of everyday life.

£80 can put a brand new smart phone in the hands of someone who needs this lifeline. £80 is what some of us would spend in our favourite coffee shop over a few months, or on 2 months of internet.

Thank you for your support.

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