Access to a device and data helped mother and son stay connected during COVID-19
The family received a data-enabled device delivered by her local Online Centre, Chell Area Family Action Group, as part of our Connecting Families project.
Julie*, 31, from Stoke-on-Trent has her own mobile phone, however before the pandemic would often run out of data towards the end of the month, meaning she was frequently left cut off and isolated as she waited for her monthly data tariff to renew.
This was exacerbated during the pandemic when Julie was facing both her and her son isolating at home with only one device with limited data between them. The pandemic and the subsequent lockdown meant many parts of people’s lives moved online overnight. Not having consistent access to the internet meant that Julie wasn’t always able to keep in touch with family and friends, access key services, shop online or crucially, homeschool her son.
Fortunately, through the Connecting Families programme, Julie and her son were identified as a family who would benefit from a data-enabled device delivered by her local Online Centre, Chell Area Family Action Group.
I’ve been able to be able to do training for work from home instead of going into work to use the computer there.
The device and additional data has helped Julie’s son complete his homework and classes online, something they struggled with when using one device with limited data. Julie tells us: “Before the pandemic I just had my mobile phone, although I couldn’t use it a lot of the time due to my data running out. I’ve been using the new device and data at home in a variety of ways with my son. He has been using it to do his school work while the schools have been shut.”
Having the benefit of an extra device and data has meant that Julie has found that she has been able to work from home more, reducing the risk of catching COVID-19 at the height of the pandemic. She explains: “I’ve been able to be able to do training for work from home instead of going into work to use the computer there. This has made things easier and has given me peace of mind.”
But it’s the staying connected with family and friends that Julie values the most: “During the lockdown this device has allowed us to keep in touch with family and has really helped me and my son to feel less isolated.”
*Julie’s name has been changed to protect her anonymity