Victoria’s story: why digital made her smile again

Victoria had faced immense loss and struggled with her mental health for a long time. Getting access to digital support made her smile for the first time in years.

Without digital connection, Victoria was in a dark state of mind

When Victoria finished her Master’s Degree, she was unable to return home to Nigeria due to violent conflict putting her life at risk. Having lost her parents two years apart, and other family members to conflict, she decided to stay in the UK to build a better life for herself. However, this was a very difficult decision, and Victoria experienced debilitating mental health issues.

Victoria told us:

“I realised there was no point in going back, and I should start my life here. I felt alone. I was in a very dark state of mind and I had mental health issues thinking about everything that was going on… I went for 3 months without speaking to any of [my family], which was just unbearable.”

She visited her local Digital Inclusion Hub, Learn For Life, in 2023, and that’s when everything changed. Victoria said, “Without their help, I wouldn’t be here today. They pulled me back from the brink.”

Getting access to digital made Victoria smile for the first time in years

Not only did Victoria gain a new place of comfort, support and community connection, she received a free laptop and free mobile data that enabled her to speak to her cousins overseas again.

“The first time I could call back home using the free data – wow, it was really exhilarating to be able to speak to them.”

Victoria was able to use the laptop to sort out her documentation for the Home Office, and is now using it to study for her teaching qualification. She uses it to watch funny videos and laugh when she needs to take her mind off things – something that is so important for our mental health.

On the support she received from Good Things Foundation and Learn For Life, Victoria said:

“I’m getting data, device and skills support which is just amazing. I’m ambitious about my life now – about where I can go and what I can achieve. It’s helped me want to live again, and helped me heal. The light has come back into my life.”

Victoria, right, with Hayley, left, from Learn For Life, and her device

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