Annette celebrates her ‘virtual’ birthday thanks to new device

05 Jun 2020

Annette Addison, 59, is keeping connected to family and friends during self-isolation thanks to a free tablet and data plan from the DevicesDotNow campaign.

Annette is unemployed due to disability and ongoing health conditions, she is wheelchair-bound and can only access the internet in the common room of the sheltered accommodation she lives in.

Since the UK went into lockdown, Smartlyte, an Online Centre in Birmingham has been supporting Annette under the Assisted Digital scheme. Since receiving support, Annette has been putting her new device to good use, “I have been using the device to speak to my family (3 children) who can’t visit me due to lockdown. I have also been using it to access news as I don’t have a TV license and cannot watch TV.”

“My children were my only access to the outside world. Not having any contact with them was very difficult and made me feel very cut off and isolated. I could not meet any of my friends in the housing scheme as they all had to stay in their rooms.”

“I am now able to stay in my room without worrying about mixing with other people. I have so many underlying health problems which make me feel very vulnerable and did not want to socialise much.”

Receiving the device through the DevicesDotNow campaign has added normality to Annette’s life, “I will be able to keep in touch with my children and grandson. I will be able to see what they are doing via WhatsApp and Facebook. I really miss my grandson. At least now we will be able to read a book together and share some stories.”

“I’m just really grateful to receive the device, especially as it was recently my 60th birthday and I thought I would be celebrating it on my own. Now I will be able to speak to all my children and we will have a ‘Virtual’ birthday party.”

DevicesDotNow is a joint initiative from FutureDotNow and the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport, supported by Good Things Foundation. Find out more about the initiative, including how you can get involved here.