Dixons Carphone provides free tablets, connectivity and tech support to vulnerable older people

In partnership with Age UK, Dixons Carphone has provided free tablets, connectivity and a dedicated technology support phone line to help hundreds of vulnerable older people from feeling lonely and isolated during the pandemic.

The technology retailer, which owns Currys PC World and Carphone Warehouse, is working with its charity partner Age UK to help older people get online. Using the latest tablet technology, they will be able to connect with friends and family, access important guidance and advice on staying safe and healthy and keep up to date with current news and information about coronavirus.

Last year, the Age UK network helped more than seven million older people with information and advice, a service which is even more crucial during the pandemic. Through its telephone befriending services, the charity is identifying 500 older people who are most in need of the technology and are keen to learn how to use it. Those who do not currently have access to the internet will now get connected using the new, fully charged and ready-to-use tablets with mobile network connectivity and pre-loaded with news and NHS apps.

The tablets, which are lightweight and allow enlargement of text for those who are visually impaired, will be delivered direct to the older person’s home while observing strict social distancing guidelines.

Each recipient will also receive easy-to-follow large-print instructions on how to get started. Those who have any further technical questions can contact a dedicated support line which goes directly to a Dixons Carphone expert who will provide ongoing support. Dixons Carphone colleagues have all received telephone support training, developed by Age UK, to help them engage with vulnerable older people in the most appropriate and comprehensive way.

This is the technology retailer’s second wave of support for Age UK after it donated hundreds of laptops, mobile phones, SIM cards and headsets to its telephone helpline and friendship service run by The Silver Line, enabling staff to maintain vital support to older people whilst following Government advice to work from home.

“Covid-19 is a threat to everyone, but especially to older people, to their mental as well as physical health. Many are anxious about being isolated, and we can help. Technology connects friends and family, as well as keeping older people entertained, productive and healthy. That’s why we’re working with Age UK to harness the power of technology, to fight the isolating threat of this virus by providing tablets and connectivity to some of the most vulnerable,” commented Dixons Carphone chief executive Alex Baldock.

Age UK chief executive Steph Harland added: “At Age UK, we are committed to ensuring older people can enjoy life and are comfortable, safe and secure at home, feel well, valued and able to participate. COVID-19 is a very real threat to these qualities of life so we’re delighted that together with Dixons Carphone we are helping older people get access to vital technology.

“Dixons Carphone’s donation of tablets and mobile network connectivity as well as technical support will go a long way towards helping the UK’s most vulnerable older people feel safe, valued and connected during this crisis.”

Age UK gives friendship, advice and practical support to older people and their families when they need it most, and Dixons Carphone exists to help everyone, including those who might otherwise be excluded, benefit from amazing technology. Together they aim to deliver digital support to thousands of older people, equipping them with essential tech skills, strengthening connections with friends and family and enabling them to make the most of the benefits of being online.

Over the next two years, the partnership will pull together the nationwide presence and expertise of both organisations, using a range of technology to help combat loneliness, improve mental health, and increase confidence and independence and community participation for older people.

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