Vulnerable Wirral residents given tablet computers

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Tablet computers are being given to some of the most vulnerable people in Wirral to help them stay in touch with friends and family during the lockdown.

The first 150 devices have already been delivered, with at least 100 more to be distributed in the coming days.

This means that overall more than 250 tablets will be handed out, with priority given to those most in need.

This includes older people living alone and carers of people with dementia.

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The most important function of the tablets will be ensuring that socially isolated and vulnerable people in the borough can stay in touch with loved ones.

Wirral Council said the tablets could also be used for mindfulness and relaxation techniques which can tackle the mental strain of isolation, as well as exercise videos, education and quizzes.

The devices are being provided through a joint project involving Age UK Wirral, Vodafone UK and Wirral Council.

The tablets will come with Vodafone data, ensuring they are ready to use straight away, while Age UK is leading the distribution effort.

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The project is also being supported by The Steve Morgan Foundation, the Liverpool City Region Cares Fund and National Emergencies Trust, and Wirral Lions Club, who have helped fund the scheme.

The move follows the closure of day centres across Wirral due to the lockdown and the requirement for social distancing.

Jamie Anderson, chief executive of Age UK Wirral, said: “I am extremely grateful to everyone who has supported this scheme.

“Covid-19 is a frightening time for all of us, but for those people who are isolating alone at home or who are isolating whilst supporting someone living with dementia, it is absolutely vital that we find ways of keeping people in touch with others.

“Our digital team has worked extremely hard to develop a remote training package that will help us to get people up and running on their tablets and we will be there every step of the way as we support people as they embark on their digital journey.”

Graham Hodkinson, Wirral Council’s director of adult social care, said: “While many of us will have family around during the lockdown, some people don’t and this can be a very frightening time.

“This is a great project to allow some people who would not otherwise be able to keep in touch to stay connected with their family and friends.

“My thanks to all those charities who have pitched in to help with this and to Vodafone who supplied the SIM cards and have worked with the council and our local charities and voluntary sector.”

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