New tablet helps Hilary reunite her family

06 Aug 2020

Hilary, 59, from Wincle, Macclesfield has found new independence with a device and data from the DevicesDotNow initiative.

Internet access has never been something that Hilary has had at home, and due to lockdown restrictions she was unable to go to her local library after being closed to visitors. She tells us: “I have only ever been able to use the internet at the library. I used to go to the work hubs in Congleton and Macclesfield every week to use the internet and get help.” 

Hilary lives with her elderly parents in Wincle, which is a very remote location - and with no neighbours at all she felt completely isolated. “My mum has been in the hospital throughout lockdown and we’ve been unable to visit her.”

Through Cheshire Learning Partnership, Hilary was identified as someone who could benefit from a device and free data through the DevicesDotNow initiative - and she says “it has changed my life.”

“Before having the device I had to drive to our local shop and just hope it was open. Now I can look up which shops are open at what times and I’ve been able to follow what’s been going on with the coronavirus locally.”

Hilary’s contact at the centre has been really supportive, “When Adele came to drop the tablet off she had already put some things on there for me, like Facebook and Skype. Later that week Adele rang me again and talked me through how to use Skype. We then had a Skype call which was amazing!”

“It was my dad’s 89th birthday during lockdown. My mum was still in hospital so by his birthday my dad hadn’t seen my mum for over 11 weeks. I arranged a surprise Skype call for them with the nurses’ help. Even though Adele had shown me how to do it, I still found it tricky but we got there in the end. It was fabulous, I hadn’t told my dad (in case I couldn’t get it to work) so he was really surprised! It was wonderful and it made me laugh when my mum asked ‘does your dad know I can see him?’”

“It’s been wonderful to have the device. I don’t know how I would have managed without it. I am looking forward to getting back to the work hubs to see people and get help with my job search, but for now, I am happy to continue using my device at home.”

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.