Hospice iPad project helps combat isolation in Lincolnshire

13th May 2021

After receiving £193,966 in funding for new technology, St Barnabas Hospice has reported success from the roll-out of their iPad project.

Last year, St Barnabas Hospice received £193,966 in grant funding from both the National Lottery Community Fund and Barclays COVID-19 Relief Fund. This funding was designated to purchase technology which would help combat isolation, loneliness and economic hardship in Lincolnshire as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This includes laptops to enable remote working, headsets for counsellors, phones and software.

Among items purchased was a bank of iPads which are loaned to St Barnabas patients for a period of up to six months to help them stay connected with friends, family and care givers. These iPads have also enabled patients to access therapeutic videos online.

Marlene Cole is one patient who was able to benefit from the use of an iPad. She said, “I was a bit nervous at first because I’m not into modern technology, but now since I’ve had this iPad, I have decided I am going to get one of my own because it’s really helped me while I’ve been shielding. I haven’t been out at all – I’m in all day.

“I like to look at YouTube, I play music and I particularly like to go onto Google and search for the countries I have travelled to and where I used to live. Me and my daughter used to go on holidays to Tunisia and I got the hotel up on Google and had a tour round it. I like listening to instrumental music, The Shadows, Tornados, Bees Gees, ABBA and Lincoln City Radio.

“I have been set up with emails and my daughter sends me photos of my grandson who is my absolute world.”

The pandemic has been tough for people like Marlene who live alone with a life-limiting or terminal illness, but St Barnabas has been a lifeline to many.

Marlene continues, “Sometimes I’ve not wanted to wake up, but I’ve got Anne the Chaplain who rings me, and Jo from St Barnabas sends me the church service and I’ve found a lot of comfort in God. I’ve never been religious, I’ve never gone to church, but I’ve found a lot of comfort in that.

“Through St Barnabas they got me a befriender, Susan. She would voluntarily come and take me to her house for coffee and we still remain friends now. I love being in the sunshine, so I sometimes sit outside the front door with my music playing. I’m really looking forward to that this summer.”

St Barnabas Hospice provides free care and support to adults living with a life-limiting or terminal illness in Lincolnshire, as well as free bereavement support to adults in Lincolnshire struggling to cope with their grief. To find out more about the various services or self-refer, visit www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk

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