Homeless, vulnerable families, older people in isolation and refugees in need more than ever during the pandemic

SocialBox.biz Digital Inclusion for vulnerable people in isolation – blog post by Heather – 2 April 2020  

If you’ve ever considered what to do with old no longer needed yet still useful tech from your office, SocialBox.Biz Laptops for the Homeless and Vulnerable Initiative needs your help. We have vulnerable people and families in need who want to get on their feet, and we know that with your help, we can help them. Please contact us today!

April 7 2020, The team at Age UK London commented:  
“The current situation is shedding light on the need for people to be connected and informed through the internet and being online is a lifeline now more than ever.”

April 12, 2020, Peter Paduh, Founder of SocialBox.Biz, said:
“With the country under lock down, many people who previously relied on human contact are now left isolated. From older people in care homes and in isolation to refugees, hundreds of thousands are in need. A computer provides access to loved ones without that  physical
contact during this crises. Our initiative provides computers to empower vulnerable disadvantaged people to gain access to the internet, to  enable and to promote the
principle of self determination via the access to internet.

Gio Valdez, Social Impact Projects Leader at SocialBox.Biz said: “Our team is working on donating at least 10,000 laptops by 2030 as part of the Laptops for Homeless and Vulnerable Initiative. With our donation boxes, not only are individuals donating laptops, but they are also donating business suits and attire, shoes, other IT items, and more. Partnering with great British companies has allowed us to widen the scope of our mission during current crises and beyond.

April 15 2020, Simon Francis, Chair of PRCA, said:
“PR and communications firms are sat on old and un-used IT. This is a perfect opportunity to help those whose isolation is increased because of the C-19 lockdown. “I’d urge every firm to do a quick audit of what they don’t need and get in touch with SocialBox.Biz.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, people everywhere have been scrambling to continue their work and education and have contact with the loved ones online, and this perhaps ring no truer than for those in need.

The team at SocialBox.Biz has worked diligently for years to provide laptops for those in need to connect them with educational opportunities, as well as with ways to communicate with others and find career opportunities and reconnect with friends and families. It has touched the lives of hundreds of people.

Now, perhaps more than ever, our initiative has provided much-needed life-line to people in need.

Our partners like Centrepoint have reached out to inquire about laptop donations that might be available specifically to help young homeless people staying in their accommodation facilities and for staff to continue their work remotely. For instance, many homeless and refugee charities reached out to us.

As one of many case studies we receive points out such donations have greatly enriched the lives of clients such as one vulnerable person who received a laptop in 2018. Today, he is still using his laptop from SocialBox.Biz for his further education and training.

Here’s a full case study we received from RSN charity:

“Hakim (not his real name) is one such young person who was gifted a Social Box laptop back in 2018. He used this to access online powerpoints and training materials for his Level 2 Plumbing programme last year. RSN’s support worker and Hakim worked together in reviewing worksheets and module powerpoints whilst Hakim was unwell and unable to go to college for the autumn term (2019). Having the resources to learn from home and within his weekly online training and wellbeing support work sessions were essential in January 2020. Hakim now finds himself unable to attend college again as his college is now closed, but more confident in navigating his e-learning remotely and will rely on his laptop from SocialBox.Biz “

Spokesperson from RSN said: ”Refugee Support Network are incredibly grateful to Social Box for supporting the young people we work with. As we transition our services online, laptops from Social Box are crucial to maintaining that connection and face-to-face mentoring we provide to refugees. Without being able to get online, many vulnerable individuals would be left completely alone and unable to access important information.”

Several other causes are reaching out to us daily to enquire about available laptops for their clients in need of digital inclusion in isolation.

One of our accommodation services charity partners C4WS Homeless project wrote to us on 1st April:

“About 1/3 of the people who access our shelters are under 25. When they access our Jobs Club we frequently hear that their future plans are based on re-accessing their training or starting university or college, for others it might be improving their English so as to enhance their employability.

By giving these guests tablets or laptops they are able to pursue online research and prepare for accessing further training and work and improve skills . “

Apr 6, 2020, Just one more example of many request we receive every day from local and national charities : I am working for a charity who supports families who care for someone with learning disability or Autism. We offer support to residents from Islington, Haringey and Camden borough.
Due to a lockdown many families who have more than one or two children are struggling to provide educational support to their children. They struggle with equipment and sensory toys. we do some grants but the need is grater than we can match.
I would like to ask you whether do you offer IT equipment to clients like the families we support…

April 7 2020 Update from Employment Coordinator
New Horizon Youth Centre, homeless youth support charity :
“Just wanted to touch base with you to see how your coping in there cataclysmic times, the Tablets have been an absolute saviour for some of our young people, they have been able to continue working and access online training courses and I have been able to still provide ongoing support although I am now working from home for the time being  so they are needed more than ever at this time. A BIG THANK YOU from all at NHYC

Laptops for the Homeless and Vulnerable Initiative needs your support, now more than ever. Please contact us today!

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