Free technology help in a time of Covid-19

Image shows a thumbnail from the Impact survey showing the statistics referenced in the report. A Word version is also available via the link.Technology has played a vital role in keeping people connected as Covid-19 kept us apart.

It’s led to a record year for AbilityNet’s FREE tech help.

We have helped 6,878 individuals, which is 27% more than the previous year. Plus, the value of our public benefit increased 46%. 

In terms of direct help to individuals, we’ve answered 1,580 Helpdesk queries, and our 300+ volunteers have provided 11,726 hours of FREE tech support. 

Volunteers have provided vital support in helping people use technology to stay in touch with family and friends and to access food deliveries and essential services.

During Covid-19, we quickly pivoted services from face-to-face support to providing support via phone and remotely via TeamViewer

Volunteers have gone above and beyond during Covid-19. We have helped churches instigate online services, reconnected families via video calls, and helped a woman say a final goodbye to her husband, who was in a care home. 

For FREE help and support Call the AbilityNet Helpline on 0800 048 7642

Responding to Covid-19

Plugging the gap left by face-to-face support, the charity launched a series of FREE AbilityNet Live! webinars delivering 30+ webinars informing 4,094 people.

Topics have included caring at a distance, reducing loneliness and social isolation, and how to access local support using the internet.

AbilityNet has also worked with other charities during the pandemic offering support on tablets handed into the community for free.

We have supported people using the KOMP video-conferencing services designed for older people, and an NHS service offering remote support to people with mental health needs in North London. 

We’re also working with local Age UK centres to support older people with technology.

Making a difference in individuals’ lives

Our focus is on helping older and disabled people. As our Impact Report shows, we have reached people with mobility, learning, hearing and speech, and vision and colour impairments. 

Our end of year statistics shows how we’ve made a difference to individuals’ lives. Of the people we’ve helped 82% feel better able to use technology, 90% feel more knowledgeable, and 78% find it easier to manage day-to-day life. 

People also more independent (72%), less isolated (68%) and less stressed (79%) with 65% saying they have greater participation in new activities. 

AbilityNet's FREE resources online

We also have a suite of FREE online resources.

These include My Computer My Way, which can show you how to adjust tablets, smartphones and computers to make them easier to use across operating systems. 

In 2020 there were over 1.7 million MCMW sessions. 

Our FREE factsheets offer specific advice on topics such as Autism and Computer and Alternative Keyboards and Mice. Over 78,111 were viewed in 2020.

How AbilityNet can help