Customers accessing support services and accommodation run by housing association charity BCHA across the South West are being gifted decommissioned mobile phones.
The organisation, which helps thousands of people transforms their lives each year, says the equipment could prove a lifeline during lockdown.
Imagine being in lockdown and having no means of contacting friends, family or support services? This is a reality for a number of customers across Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole, Exeter, Plymouth, Swindon and Yeovil.
BCHA have been working to issue 120 mobile phones to customers in order to keep them connected to the vital support services needed in the current national crisis.
Headquartered in Bournemouth, BCHA has over 1,300 accommodation units across the region and supports people who find themselves homeless after facing relationship breakdowns, addictions, unemployment, domestic violence and deteriorating mental and physical health.
Daryl Gibbins, Business Manager at BCHA based in Bournemouth, said: “Through ongoing support we have identified customers who would be isolated due to the lockdown due to having no access to mobile phones, now we are able to remotely support them in this time of uncertainty and crisis, from video calls to texts and wellbeing apps.
“Few people like to be isolated from the community, so this is a great way of being present and being able to provide a listening ear and friendly face on screen”
“It also means that our keyworkers and partners can limit face to face contact with our customers, adhering to social distancing measures where we can.”
To date over 60 handsets have gone to customers in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, Devon & Somerset.
Daryl said: “This initiative could provide a lifeline for our customers in lockdown – they are no longer alone.”