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Compaid helps disabled, older and other vulnerable people to overcome the barriers of social, digital and economic exclusion

About us

Compaid helps disabled, older and other vulnerable people to overcome the barriers of social and digital exclusion, and to live their lives to the full.

Each year, thousands of people use our digital skills training and accessible transport services in and around the South East of England.

Working in partnership with local authorities, housing associations, job centres and other charities, our staff and volunteers change lives for the better every day.

More About Compaid

How we help

Digital Skills Training

We provide one to one support to learn how to safely use the internet, social media, and apps such as Microsoft Office and Corel Draw. Training is offered at our own Training Centre, or remotely in people’s own homes.

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Accessible Transport

We provide door to door transport for disabled and older people to access local shops, day services, medical appointments and outings with family and friends. We offer a choice of wheelchair accessible vehicles, from minibuses for large groups to smaller adapted cars.

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What people have said about us

  • “A massive thank you for giving me the confidence to explore computers. This has been absolutely invaluable to me in starting my new career path after a long break.”

    Tracey, disabled job seeker in Maidstone

  • “After a traffic accident, I wanted to put my computer experience to good use, helping others to gain digital skills. Volunteering at Compaid helped me with my own speech and increased my confidence and independence.”

    Dave, Compaid volunteer

News

Kickstart Scheme to Compaid Trust - Ife's Story Part 2

Since February, Compaid has been excited to welcome on board their new Social Media Assistant, Ife, who joined the organisation through the Kickstart Scheme. For the past 4 months, she has dedicated herself to creating and publishing social media posts for our Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter accounts, as well as writing articles for our website. Her creativity and new perspective has allowed us to create content that highlights our mission, and spotlights our dedicated staff, volunteers and inspired vulnerable adults we help every day. Today, we would like to check in with her and see how she’s been doing while with us. Q: What made you apply to work at Compaid? For nearly two years after graduating, I and the rest of the world remained quarantined inside due to the pandemic, but once restrictions began lifting, I started applying for jobs. This led me to the Job Centre and subsequently, the Kickstart Scheme in late 2021. Without it, I don't know what I would have done. With the help of my work coach, we searched for jobs within the scheme that focused on some of my areas of interest, being social media and creative writing. Eventually, I came across Compaid’s job listing for a Social Media Assistant which intruigued me because I would be able to do what I enjoy whole working with an organisation that helped so many people in the community. Knowing my work would make a difference in some people’s lives inspired me to apply. And a few weeks later, I was called in for an interview. The rest is history. Q: What have you learned about Compaid’s services that surprised you? When I started in February, I was a ball of nerves. I worried about doing or saying the wrong thing, especially in the training centre. But as I spent the first week with clients and on the transport buses with drivers and passengers, I realised how truly compassionate everyone at Compaid is. The support Compaid provides inside and outside the centre makes a real positive impact on the lives of the disabled, elderly and vulnerable adults who rely on their services to learn new skills, or get around safely. Whenever I go to the training centre downstairs, I am greeted by individuals excited to learn and having fun with other clients, volunteers and staff while they do it. I’ve also had the chance to talk to passengers of the shopper buses, and Out and About buses, all of whom are so grateful for Compaid’s services being available to them. Seeing and hearing their gratitude is what really makes every day enjoyable. Q: What do you like about working at Compaid? I really enjoy the variety of ways Compaid helps vulnerable people in the community, and learning about them to write posts about them inspires me. But more than that, being able to meet all the wonderful clients and passengers is what makes this job meaningful to me. I’ll be the first to admit, I had some unconscious prejudice before I started working in this organisation, but whenever I am able to go out on one of the Out and About buses, or spend a few hours with the clients in the training centre, getting to know them individually and watching them learn, it helped me overcome a lot of that. My manager and the other staff I work with in the office have also been very supportive of me, which I am very grateful for. The opportunity for me to grow while I help the organisation bring more awareness to their incredible mission is highly rewarding, and I am thankful to have that chance in a charity as important to the community as this. Q: What experience have you gained that will help you gain work in the future? One thing that I have been able to improve on by working at Compaid is my self-confidence and assertiveness. I remember being so nervous in the interview that I couldn’t look the interviewers in the eye at all, but now, as I’ve grown into my place in the organisation and gotten to know the staff, volunteers and clients more, I’ve definitely found my footing. Being able to speak up for what I want to do, any ideas I have, information I need and learning how to learn from my mistakes is a vital skill that will benefit me in many areas of my life, as well as future work prospects. Q: What is one thing this experience has taught you? Everyone has a unique and wonderful personality, no matter what challenges they are facing, and there is a way forward no matter what you’re dealing with. Being able to see and accept everyone for the person that they are, including yourself, I think would make the world a much kinder place to live in. So, believe in yourself! It’s never too late to learn something new, or start a new path in life. The Kickstart Scheme is an amazing opportunity and helped me more than I can say. Taking that chance was greatly rewarding, and I only hope more people come to find that fulfilment too. ~ Compaid are delighted to have Ife working with us, and can’t wait to continue working with her in the future. If you are interested in working with us too, click here for more information: https://www.compaid.org.uk/get-involved/working-with-us/ Photo created by wayhomestudio - www.freepik.com

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Sevenoaks District Council 'Helping Hands' Project

Compaid works with many district councils and housing associations to bring our life changing services to even more disabled, elderly or otherwise vulnerable people across Kent. We are dedicated to assisting the development of adults who are living with social, economic, mental or physical challenges, and who struggle with or lack access to suitable IT equipment to get online and obtain some independence. We are currently working with Sevenoaks District Council (SDC) to identify and support vulnerable residents in the SDC areas, including homeless individuals, through the ‘Helping Hands’ Project. This program assists those who may be in need of our free one to one digital training support, whether on a laptop, tablet or mobile phone. Both organisations and individuals within the Sevenoaks borough can refer individuals to Compaid for assessment. Partnering with SDC creates opportunities for vulnerable people in our local community to research paid or voluntary job prospects, have a better understanding about their housing benefits or simply use the devises they may have more effectively. For many, receiving this training has been a turning point to gaining confidence and improving their independence due to life issues that may have affected them. To begin the training, an assessment is provided to identify needs and objectives and allay any concerns the client may have. The client is then supported over 8 weeks on a one to one basis with one of our experienced trainers, and together, they formulate an action plan that clarifies their desired key objectives. These may include basic computer/tablet/smartphone skills, creating a CV, accessing benefits and support groups, further education, understanding online banking and internet safety.  ‘When I started the course I had no knowledge of using computers. Now I can search online for what I am interested in and use it for art and relaxation.’ – Mrs B “I’m enjoying it. It’s very good. I’m finally sorting out the tablet. It makes such a change for me because I’m live on my own.” – Mr R Would you or someone you know benefit from this Helping Hands Project? For further details, please contact Val Sprott, Compaid’s Training Services Manager by email at valsprott@compaid.org.uk  or by phone at 01892 351053

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New Chair and Trustees join the Compaid Board

We are delighted to welcome David Lewis to Compaid as our new Chair. David, who lives in London, has worked in the private, public and not for profit sector, with a focus on digital transformation. He is currently the managing director of consulting and transformation for Capita Public Services, and recently helped to set up a new charity, the Movements Trust. Joining David on the Compaid Board are two additional new Trustees. Laurence Monnier who has a career in financial services and investment and Jean-Pierre Le Borgne, a business coach. Both Laurence and Jean Pierre live and work in Kent. More information about our new Trustees and the rest of the Compaid Board can be found in the People section of this site.

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Volunteering

There have been volunteers at Compaid since the beginning, giving their essential support to staff & clients.

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