Barnsley Council’s IT services have worked over Easter refurbishing retired council devices and installing video systems and user guides so that care home residents can keep in touch with their families and friends.
The council are currently in the process of making sure that all devices are ready to be distributed with 22 being handed over this week and over 100 available should demand arise. Adult Social Care teams will then distribute the devices to care homes in the borough.
The devices have been replaced as part of the council’s #DigitalFirst Programme which has been vital in making sure that employees can work flexibly to deliver services. Originally the devices were to go to a secure disposal company so that they could be recycled, however, in light of recent events with Coronavirus, these are being sent to care homes to limit the impact of social isolation.
Cllr Jenny Platts, Cabinet Spokesperson for Communities, said: “We are so pleased that we can redistribute some of this technology that we know will bring joy to families who are unable to see each other in these difficult times. It’s really important that everyone stays connected with family, friends or people living in their community to stay happy, healthy and have better mental health.
“In these unique times, and through life in general, it’s great that we can use modern technology to stay in touch with loved ones. We also have lots of volunteers through our community responder scheme that can make calls for friendly chats to people that may not have strong support systems. If you or someone you know would like to receive contact from one of our volunteers, call 01226 774444 or freephone 0808 196 3531.”