Laptops for everyone: A vulnerable elderly woman expresses her gratitude for you Laptop which allows her to reconnect with the outside world

Laptops for everyone: A vulnerable elderly woman expresses her gratitude for you Laptop which allows her to reconnect with the outside world

Tech Highlights:

  • Support worker Rehneesa Inez makes a charity laptop presentation to Linda, a vulnerable Sheffield pensioner, who says her new laptop will help her reconnect with the world. Support worker Rehneesa Inez makes a charity laptop presentation to Linda, a vulnerable Sheffield pensioner, who says her new laptop will help her reconnect with the world. Now, Laptops for All has donated a laptop, dongle and data supply to help Linda access the internet for daily shopping essentials and watch long-forgotten films of her favourite musicians to remind her of a happy childhood before tragedy struck.

  • After obtaining a free laptop to help her reconnect with the world, a cried and said she was “jumping for joy.” After years of solitude, Linda Smith thinks the Laptops for All campaign’s gift of connectivity will “make her feel alive again.” The 77-year-old from Sheffield’s S5 postcode is one of many senior citizens who feel locked off from the rest of the world. Linda, who goes by the pseudonym Linda, suffers from bipolar disorder. She hasn’t left her home in two years and has no friends or relatives to help her, according to her own admission. She is poor and cannot afford many of the necessities that most people take for granted.

“Before he passed away, we could afford piano lessons and I loved listening to Winifred Atwell, the jazz pianist, because her sound was so different. “I have had a difficult life with not much joy but having a laptop is something I have wanted for a long time. I have been listening to Winifred again after all these years and it makes me feel weepy, bringing back childhood memories. “Having a laptop makes me feel alive again and I’m going to use it to get in touch with long-lost relatives. I’m hoping 2022 is going to be a better year.”

Rehneesa Inez, community engagement officer at SCCCC said: “Lots of people out there don’t have laptops or smartphones or WiFi at home. Having a device can help people like Linda to feel connected and do their shopping and banking online, especially during the pandemic. Connectivity gives people a broader range of options and helps them reach more support services for themselves.”

Led by technology entrepreneur David Richards, Laptops for All aims to supply free or low-cost devices and data to people who are missing out on life opportunities because they lack the equipment to go online. The campaign is working with local charities including Age UK, The Food Works, Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care (SCCCC) and the local NHS to distribute devices and data according to need.

It is estimated that six per cent of UK households remain offline, making it difficult to take part in activities including education, employment and healthcare or even stay in touch with friends and family. The nonprofit campaign is calling on employers and individuals to donate laptops, tablets or cash to help close the digital divide in Sheffield and South Yorkshire. Devices are securely erased and refurbished before distribution.

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