"During lockdowns and Covid-19 restrictions, I have tried to keep in touch with vulnerable residents. We have one lady, aged 79, who regularly used the gym facilities before lockdown, she has a landline phone, but no mobile. She contracted Covid-19 back in March 2020, her recovery was good, but slow. Subsequently she had a severe reaction to the vaccine, she is also diabetic. She has stopped booking essential GP appointments, having spent over £10 on landline daytime calls, left on hold to get through. She can't book online, can't use GP booking apps, can't walk to the surgery to book - it's closed. She has given up, in her words, 'I'll sweat it out at home'.
I can't tell you how excited she is to be receiving a mobile phone, "I can call my daughter anytime I need", "will it get through to the doctor", when I told her she can join the WhatsApp group of the other senior citizens she knows in our community; I wish I had a photo of her smile.
Don't underestimate the freedom this connectivity offers. It means a poorly diabetic lady, recovering from Covid-19 can talk to her GP, family and community. When the elderly gives up trying to see the doctor, I'd go as far to say this could save lives.
My biggest problem will be to convince her it's unlimited minutes, and not to just use it for emergencies!
Thank you for all you do. Black Prince Trust truly look forward to continuing to work with Millennium Community Solutions."
Beverley de Valmency, Physical Activities and Social Integration Officer, Black Prince Trust.