Fifteen months ago, as we faced the realities of the first lockdown, it became all too clear that families were going to be unable to visit their loved ones in hospitals, care homes and hospices. In response to this desperate situation, on the 4th April 2020, PCrefurb launched its Tablet Appeal. The call went out via social media and the local press: could individuals or businesses donate cash to enable PCrefurb to purchase tablets which would keep local families connected during this traumatic time?
The response was extraordinary. A total of £18,700 was donated from companies, funding bodies, community groups and individuals. A full list of donors can be found on our website. The money enabled PCrefurb to purchase 187 tablets and distribute them to 47 care settings.
Tameside General Hospital received ten tablets as part of the appeal. One of those tablets enabled Jo Wilde and her family to keep in touch with her father, Jimmy Rodgers. Jimmy had dementia and was being cared for in the hospital. Sadly, Jimmy passed away recently but Jo kindly asked for donations to PCrefurb in lieu of flowers at the funeral.
This donation has enabled PCrefurb to create the Jimmy Rodgers Legacy Fund which will be used to purchase ten tablets. These tablets will be made available to those caring for family members with dementia. Despite the imminent easing of restrictions, those in this position still experience isolation and many are unable to connect with the online resources and support networks that organisations like Tameside and Glossop Dementia Support Service have made available.
The tablets purchased via this Fund will make an enormous difference to the wellbeing of those currently digitally excluded and coping with the demands of caring for a loved one. Jo told us “I’m delighted that the donation is going to help people with dementia, as would dad be. I know first-hand how much this will help: communicating with families, playing games and even listening to music. I used to get dad listening to music on my phone, and it was like magic, singing and even getting me up dancing with him. He loved it. So to know that other people who have dementia will get that feeling by using a tablet, that is an everyday thing to many people, is fantastic.”
We extend our thanks again to Jo Wilde and her family and friends, and to all those who made the PCrefurb Tablet Appeal such an extraordinary success.