Careium has partnered with giffgaff the mobile network, to donate 500 phones to isolated elderly people across the UK. The Doro-led initiative seeks to counteract the effects of loneliness during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It forms part of a wider push to deliver 2000 phones to isolated seniors across regions spanning the UK, Germany, France and the Nordic countries.
The partnership with Careium comes after giffgaff announced its goodybank initiative to help local communities in Britain and members of the giffgaff community facing hardship during this time. As phones become increasingly important throughout COVID-19 and for many the only means of communication with the outside world, giffgaff and its members want to ensure that everyone stays connected.
Carl-Johan Zetterberg Boudrie, CEO of Careium: “Social exclusion and involuntary loneliness have become reality for many seniors, exacerbated in the wake of coronavirus. It is wonderful that so many elderly people are accepting of social distance, even though they are in greater need of communication than ever before. By donating Doro phones to those most at risk, we hope to reduce anxiety and simultaneously enable closeness between families.”
Ash Schofield, CEO of giffgaff: “As much now as ever, a sense of community is vital, which is why following on from the announcement of our recent goodybank initiative to help the most vulnerable members in society, we’ve partnered with Careium. Living in isolation is tough for everyone but the elderly may find themselves in a greater state of stress and suffering from loneliness. We hope that by providing these phones it will help them stay connected with loved ones and bring some much-needed respite in these trying times.”
The phone supplied will be the Doro 5516, an easy-to-use candy bar handset equipped with extra loud and clear sound, an easy-to-use camera, 3G connectivity and the signature Assistance button located on the back of the phone.
When activated in the event of an emergency, the Assistance button has been specially programmed to call trained advisers at their Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). The call centre will then assist and triage users accordingly, providing the user and their families with peace of mind. This service will be active, free of charge, for three months from distribution, should the user wish to opt into the service after this period, the option will be available.
The phones will be delivered as safely as possible, using safe spaces and post boxes where appropriate, along with written instructions explaining how they work and further details on setting up the service activated by pressing the Assistance button.