Innovative Project to address Social Isolation amongst Veterans to commence

The Ely Centre to commence Innovative Project incorporating elderly adapted Technology to Support Socially Isolated Veterans & Their Families during COVID 19.

During the summer The Ely Centre were delighted to receive the news that our funding application aimed at innovatively tackling social isolation amongst elderly Veterans and their families had been successful from the Armed Forces Covenant Trust.

This project which is only one of two successful bids from Northern Ireland, will build upon the findings of a small pilot programme implemented at the commencement of the lockdown period to provide a small group of socially isolated members with elderly adapted technology “Grandpads” to promote online and family connectivity during this time of great uncertainty for many of our eldery members”

The initial feedback gained from this pilot was extremely positive, with recipients easily adapting to the “Grandpads” and thoroughly benefitting from range of services and online help available to them. With such positive feedback The Ely Centre identified an opportunity through the Armed Forces Covenant Trust who have supported the Charity immensely through our Brooke House Project and applied to the scheme.

The project will commence in Early Autumn and will support over 60 Socially Isolated Veterans and their families who are currently engaged in our Health and Well Being programmes with a Individually tailored Grandpads, conenctivety charges and online support services. We are currently exploring avenues to continue the connection charges post project.

Speaking on the project, Ely Centre Chairperson Jim Dixon stated “When I first heard the proposal for the project I was very enthusiastic. As an active octogenarian, I know the benefit modern technology has made in our families lives. The value of connecting with family and friends who no longer live close by cannot be underestimated, and during times like these we are eternally grateful for the advances in modern technology.

He Continued “We knew immediately that the impact of getting socially isolated Veterans connected to their families, friends and for the delivery of services such as counselling or welfare advice in their homes would be very positive. As the Pandemic continues, this simple project has the potential to be a lifeline for many of our members, on behalf of the Board and Staff we would like to thank both the Victims and Survivors Service and the Armed Forces Covenant Trust for supporting this innovative project.

At present staff on the Ely Centre Health and Well Being and Welfare Advice Teams have identified clients from within those service who as part of their support plan would benefit from the pilot project.

To learn more of the Grandpad please click on the video below.