National Databank voucher helps Paul’s mental health
The National Databank data voucher has taken away some of Paul's loneliness and made him feel more positive about the future.
Paul, who in his late forties, experiences many mental and physical health challenges.
Suffering from several debilitating illnesses, Paul’s day to day life is a struggle. He relies on constant support from his partner and carer, and is unable to live independently. Paul is not well enough to leave his home, which means he spends almost everyday stuck indoors, disconnected from the outside world.
Paul treasures every bit of data he gets, but is often forced to monitor his usage extremely closely and make difficult decisions about what he uses the data for. The unpredictability of Paul’s health conditions means he never knows when he will need to call his GP or emergency services. Paul is scared of finding himself in an emergency and not having enough data to contact anyone. His usual data allowance does not allow for waiting in long phone queues or long phone calls to his pharmacist.
“Every little bit of data helps to keep me well - and feel more connected to the outside world”.
Since August, Paul has been depending on data vouchers given to him by his local Online Centre – SmartLyte in Birmingham – through the National Databank, delivered by Good Things Foundation. The data vouchers have proved a lifeline for Paul who has been able to connect with his family and keep in essential contact with his GP.
The vouchers have taken away some of Paul’s loneliness, making him feel more connected to his children. His mental health has improved and he feels less stressed every day. Paul is grateful that his mobile phone and data allows him to see what his friends and family are up to and that he can follow them on social media. The vouchers provide an invaluable connection to them, helping him to feel less isolated and more independent.
Mobile data is the only thread that connects Paul to his family, the outside world and vital health services. When Paul’s data voucher runs out, he is isolated, disconnected and constantly worried about how he will manage. Access to more data would transform Paul’s life and take away many of these anxieties.
Good Things Foundation is calling on all mobile operators to join the National Databank so we can eradicate data poverty for good.