Library staff have been working in partnership with staff from the adult social care team to help deliver a new project to isolated and vulnerable members of Wrexham County Borough.
A number of iPads were purchased out of The Community Inclusion Grant (established to help vulnerable members of the community) to support those who were identified as being at risk of isolating even further and being cut off from those who matter the most. The iPads are a lifeline for them to contact friends and family and make them feel more connected at, what could be, a very isolating time.
Thanks to the grant, libraries in Wrexham have also been able to give out 5 4G iPads to people in the community who usually use the library services but due to the current restrictions and a lack of technology at home, have been unable to access the digital offer.
Elodie, a young girl who uses the Homelink Library service and who has been placed on the shielding list due to serious health conditions has been shielding throughout the lockdown period and continues to do so for as long as is necessary.
Using her iPad every single day
Elodie had been under the care of Hope House which stopped immediately upon lockdown but with the iPad she is now using zoom or FaceTime to keep in touch with her friends and her support network. Elodie has been using her iPad every single day, and says it has made lockdown so much easier. She has also been home schooled on it as well as using it to keep in touch with her family.
Janet Roberts, another Homelink Library customer, has also been in total isolation since March. She lives in a flat with shared gardens and despite the good weather hasn’t ventured out at all. Thanks to the iPad she is now able to download free audio books from the library service and keep in touch with her brother and his new puppy, and generally feels much happier with her situation.
“I will never be lonely when I have got a book to read”
Barbara Evans has got cancer so through lockdown has had no contact with anyone. She is an avid reader and reads about 25 books every month so she suffered badly when the library service was locked down and Homelink visits were put on hold. After receiving her iPad she said “I will never be lonely when I have got a book to read”. Her family live in Egypt so she is going to use it to Facetime or zoom them so that they can be reassured that she is well.
Cllr John Pritchard, Lead Member for Youth Services and Anti-Poverty, said: “The iPads is a great initiative and providing essential contact with friends and family for those who are unable to go out due to shielding. I would like to offer my thanks to everyone involved in making this happen and to wish everyone well as we go through the next few weeks.”
Cllr Joan Lowe, Lead Member for Adult Social Care, said: “These are lovely examples of how, by working in partnership across departments, we can help those most vulnerable amongst us. I too would like to add my thanks to everyone for offering and providing this vital community support.”
If you are unable to visit the library or use their Order and Collect service and you have access to a digital device why not download a free e-book, e-audiobook or e-magazine? Visit www.wrexham.gov.uk/libraries and click on the online service link where you will find a whole host of things to do.