Compaid to tackle loneliness and isolation with help from Barclays

Compaid is to support hundreds of vulnerable and isolated households in West Kent with support from Barclays who have awarded a £100,000 donation to support the work of the charity.

The Barclay’s 100×100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Programme was launched in April to help people and communities most impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, and Compaid is one of 100 UK charities each receiving £100,000.

The donation will pay for digital devices, including tablets and laptops, and prepaid data plans so that vulnerable people without broadband and access to the internet can get online. The charity’s staff team and support volunteers will provide training in safe use of the internet to recipients of the devices, working closely with local councils, housing associations and other referral agencies.

Compaid’s Transport team will also be able to continue its lockdown service, where regular passengers shielding at home can have essential items including their groceries delivered to their door.

Disabled and older people, more likely to lack digital skills before the pandemic, have struggled during lockdown as many organisations have stopped receiving visitors, and many phone services are not available. Without access to the internet and email, thousands of people face increased isolation, which Compaid will help them to overcome.

Nigel Higgins, Barclays Chairman, said:

“COVID-19 has created an unprecedented social and economic impact in the UK, with many experiencing greater hardship due to the crisis.

Incredible charities such as Compaid have been playing a vital role in the UK’s response to the pandemic, ensuring urgent help reaches those most in need of support.

As a bank we have been doing all we can for our customers, clients and colleagues, and we hope that by partnering with Compaid and many other charities across the UK, collectively we can ensure that as many people as possible in the communities in which we live and work are supported through this crisis.”

Stephen Elsden, Chief Executive of Compaid, said:

“We are very grateful to the Barclays 100×100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Programme, for supporting the work of Compaid through this incredibly generous donation. Our staff and volunteers have been overwhelmed since the first lockdown in March, adapting our training and transport services so that regular users could access them, while also being approached by many new groups and individuals desperate to get online.

“The two largest barriers to digital inclusion are access to technology and broadband and confidence in using the internet. With this support from Barclays, we can ensure that hundreds of vulnerable people can finally access the digital services and entertainment that the rest of us have taken for granted during lockdown.”

Compaid | Removing barriers - Improving lives