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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

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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Testimonies from the Kent Karrier Bus Service

Isolation and loneliness has been reported to affect elderly and disabled people more than non-disabled people since the pandemic started, 46% saying it has affected their mental health as a result. The Kent Karrier service is more than just a shopping bus to many who use it. It is a focal point for socialising, a means to get out of one’s home and reduce the feeling of isolation, more importantly an opportunity to interact with other people in one’s community. We have collated stories of gratitude for the door to door assistance the drivers who assist them and how we make it possible for those most in need are testament to just how vital the service is to the passengers who use it. Feedback from our Kent Karrier passengers reported that everyone had praise and thanks for it the service provided, and the drivers who help them during their journeys. Others commented: “I’m 88 now, and carrying all my shopping and going all the way back home is just impossible for me. I just can’t do it. But I love the independence of being able to go shopping again thanks to these buses, and going around the store by myself. Kent Karrier lets me do that, helps me take my independence back. I can’t get out of the house otherwise. Lots of us live alone but we’ve made friends on the bus which we wouldn’t have without it. It’d be really isolating and lonely if we didn’t have the Kent Karrier service anymore.” – Mrs G “It’s more of a social bus as much as it is a shopping bus. I get to meet new people and chat with them on the journey. It’s great fun being able to see them each week.” – Mrs B “My husband and I are both 86 years old. He’s had two strokes which affected his eyes so he can’t drive, and actually had his license taken away because of it. And my son has cerebral palsy so he can’t drive either. Between being his carer and everything else, we really rely on this bus service just to get around and get to the shops safely. There is no alternative for us. Waiting outside of r a regular bus isn’t good for my son, and even if we did manage to go on them, we wouldn’t be able to get back with all our shopping too. Kent Karrier is a lifeline for us and without it, we wouldn’t be able to go anywhere. How can we support ourselves without this service to help? Without the wonderful drivers who assist me and my son and my husband? It would be impossible to get anything we need.” – Mrs E “Until you’re on one of the runs, on the buses, you don’t realise just how important it is to the passengers. There have been many meaningful moments for me, but especially on the days when, you come back and they recognise you as their driver, it’s always nice to see. It’s a chance for them to socialise, really. It’s more than just getting on a bus and going back and forth.” – Driver N   These are just some of the testimonies and feedback we have received from regular passengers of our Kent Karrier service, and it would be unjust not to listen to those who lives would be affected by the proposed withdrawal of this service. If this has impacted you, or you know someone who would be affected by this bus service being withdrawn, please fill out the consultation linked here and join us in fighting Kent County Council’s proposal to terminate this vital service: www.kent.gov.uk/bussavings

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Get involved

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Help us to ensure that all those we work with can achieve their aspirations and play an equal part in society.

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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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