Connected and shielding during lockdown

12 Jun 2020


Emma Harvey, 35, is staying connected whilst shielding, thanks to a free tablet and data plan from the DevicesDotNow initiative.

Emma has severe asthma and was advised to shield for a period of 12 weeks in line with government guidance. During this time Emma has sadly lost a close relative and her Mother-in-law, who also cares for her daughter, has been admitted to hospital. Emma’s daughter is now receiving emergency respite care.

Dealing with the loss of a loved one whilst feeling unable to get in contact with family and friends has been particularly hard for Emma. She tells us: “I have a pay as you go phone but the data plan is limited, so I can’t really use the internet. I was worried about not being able to have regular updates about my daughter and relatives.”

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After sharing her worries with a contact at local community organisation the Hope Foundation, Emma received a tablet and data plan provided through the DevicesDotNow initiative. She says: “Before I had the tablet, I was only able to text my relatives but now I’ve found new ways to stay connected. I’ve tried Zoom, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and email.”

Emma has also been using the device to manage her health online: “I’ve downloaded the NHS app and have been ordering prescriptions for both myself and my partner. It’s easier to manage my anxiety by talking to people who can support me. I now feel connected with the outside world and not just forgotten about.”

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.