Seacole Scheme, part of Turning Lives Around, borrowed some iPads as part of our tablet lending scheme. They have used the iPads to give their clients access to the internet and develop their digital skills, giving them opportunity and independence. The Seacole Scheme support staff have also become Digital Champions.
Seacole Scheme provides young people emergency access to accommodation. Homeless and vulnerable young people aged 16 to 24 are offered a place to stay as well as support to access education, training and work. Young people can get help to overcome other issues such as substance misuse, domestic abuse, mental health issues, and family issues.
Giving clients access to the internet has helped improve engagement with clients with higher support needs and has contributed to improving clients lives by giving them opportunity and independence. Clients have been supported to use online mapping tools, find local amenities, bid on council houses, make Universal Credit claims and to submit updates for their work coaches. They have applied for bank accounts and email accounts, submitted sick notes, and used social media to keep in touch with family and friends to avoid isolation. YouTube and videos have been used as a distraction technique for self-harm and anger management.
The iPads have been used outside of the facility when Support Workers have accompanies clients to appointments. Staff report that having the opportunity to access the internet outside of the hostel has been a great way to build relationships with clients and improve engagement.
Turning Lives Around have recently supported the White Ribbon and 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Abuse campaign. Support Workers used the iPads to create a quiz on domestic violence where clients had a set time to research answers to questions. They were also used to help create background ambience when the kitchen was transformed into a restaurant with background music and a candle flicker!
Feedback from clients shows that having access to the internet and being supported to digitally upskill has had a massive positive impact on the lives of those staying at Seacole:
“I have a very basic phone and can’t access the internet on it, by using the tablet I have been able to keep in contact with my dad. He works away often and finds email easier to communicate with me, without it I wouldn’t be able to speak with him. I use the tablet every day. I have also done my Universal Credit application on it and it helps me keep up to date with appointments”
“Since we got the iPads I have used it to apply for a bank account with Santander, submit sick notes on the Fitapp, bid for council properties, check my bank account online to check if my ESA has been paid, apply for an email account of my own – it’s very useful, I have anxiety so going out to the library feels too much for me sometimes and I don’t want to go outside”
“My key worker let me use the iPad in key working to go through a basic computer course, I’m not very good at computers and I learnt from doing the course how to do basic things on them, I am learning to check my emails and use Google”
“I use Facebook on the ipad – I don’t have a phone so it helps me keep in contact with friends and family. I can Google things that I don’t know and when I feel angry I can go on YouTube and watch funny videos to calm me down. I love it and hope we keep them forever and ever”