Victoria’s story: why digital made her smile again

"The first time I could call back home using the free data - wow, it was exhilarating to speak to my family again." Read Victoria's story.

Without digital connection, Victoria was in a dark state of mind

When Victoria finished her Masters Degree, she was unable to return home due to violent conflict, and decided to stay in the UK to build a better life for herself. However, this was a very difficult decision, and Victoria experienced debilitating mental health issues.

Victoria told us, “I realised there was no point in going back, and I should start my life here. I felt alone. I was in a very dark state of mind and I had mental health issues thinking about everything that was going on… I went for 3 months without speaking to any of [my family], which was just unbearable.”

She visited her local Digital Inclusion Hub Learn For Life, and that’s when everything changed. Victoria said, “Without their help, I wouldn’t be here today. They pulled me back from the brink.”

Getting access to digital made Victoria smile for the first time in years

Not only did Victoria gain a new place of comfort, support and community connection, she received a free laptop and free mobile data that enabled her to speak to her cousins overseas again. “The first time I could call back home using the free data – wow, it was really exhilarating to be able to speak to them.”

Victoria was able to use the laptop to sort out her documentation for the Home Office, and is now using it to study for her teaching qualification. She uses it to watch funny videos and laugh when she needs to take her mind off things – something that is so important for our mental health.

On the support she received from Good Things Foundation and Learn For Life, Victoria said:

“I’m getting data, device and skills support which is just amazing. I’m ambitious about my life now – about where I can go and what I can achieve. It’s helped me want to live again, and helped me heal. The light has come back into my life.”

Victoria, right, with Hayley, left, from Learn For Life

More good things

Make digital a reality for all Digital For All, Good Things' latest campaign, is raising awareness digital inclusion. There's so many ways you can get involved.

Find local digital inclusion support Show someone who is digitally excluded where to find free mobile data, or to get local support to use the internet.

Become a Digital Inclusion Hub Join the National Digital Inclusion Network and help more people like Sam get access to free mobile data, devices and digital skills learning.

Discover our digital inclusion services Good Things power the National Databank, National Device Bank and Learn My Way. Find out how you can use, refer or support these services.