Kathalingam, 42 lives in Eastham, West London. Before the outbreak of coronavirus he would go along to his local Online Centre, Skills Enterprise, to access the internet, go to classes and access other key services and support.
As soon as the UK went into lockdown this support network was no longer available, leaving him isolated and cut off from the outside world. “I had no access to the internet. I regularly used the computer when I came to class, but now the centre is closed I have nowhere to go”.
Kathalingam has a medical condition meaning he needs to regularly order and pick up prescriptions. “I have health issues and alcohol issues, I was lonely as I had no family or friends and I am classed as an NHS vulnerable category A. I felt very scared and confused and needed help to get food and prescriptions.
Already known to Skills Enterprise in his local community in Eastham, Kathalinga was identified to receive support from the DevicesDotNow campaign to help him stay connected with family and his community and order his prescriptions online. “I called Skills Enterprise for help and they gave me a tablet. On the tablet I completed an NHS online emergency parcel request and asked for help with ordering my prescription.”
Since receiving his DevicesDotNow tablet things have started to look up for Kathalingam.
“I am now feeling confident that I can connect with my community and I can ask for help when I need it. I used the NHS website to request a food parcel and now I can contact anyone if there is an emergency.”
“I was able to see coronavirus guidance on the GOV.UK, I regularly use Zoom to connect to Skills Enterprise who have supported me during this time.”
“I feel happy that I have people to connect to. I was very scared of the pandemic but now I can keep myself safe by following the latest government guidance.”
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.