Army veteran eases anxiety with new device

22 May 2020

Jason Zerafa, 34, from Catterick, is easing his anxiety during lockdown thanks to a free tablet and data plan from the DevicesDotNow scheme.


Army veteran Jason, is unemployed and suffers from anxiety. However, since receiving the new tablet he has been using it to keep in touch with his family and to access his Universal Credit account.


Before receiving a tablet from DevicesDotNow Jason had very limited access to the internet. He tells us: “I have an old iPhone but was not able to use it because the screen is broken. I was trying to use it to contact my family and keep in touch with my brother who is in the army. My support worker knew my phone was broken and that I was suffering from increased anxiety because I was struggling to stay in contact with my family.” 


A1 Community Works, a community organisation that works with army veterans in the area arranged for a tablet to be sent to Jason through the DevicesDotNow initiative and he’s been putting it to good use: “I’ve been using my device to keep in touch with all my family. My uncle is recovering from cancer and it was great to be able to see and talk to him. I have also been doing online fitness classes, writing up my Universal Credit journal and some courses so I can start to get ready to return to work.”


The lockdown period hasn’t been easy for Jason: “I did feel very cut off and isolated. Living in supported housing is not like living in your own place. I have a small studio flat but before lockdown, I had free access to the communal areas and could chat with the staff and other residents. Lockdown meant my world became my flat and I only had limited access to support staff. I felt very lonely. I really missed my family.”


Now, thanks to his new DevicesDotNow tablet and remote support from A1 Community Works, Jason’s anxiety has eased "The device has helped me cope and feel connected to the world. I am less stressed than I was when I could not contact my family. I have also visited the NHS website to get good advice and learn the truth about the virus and to check on my own symptoms.


“I am very very grateful to the DevicesDotNow campaign and A1 for this tablet. Thank you.”


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.