virtual hugs

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Helping vulnerable communities combat isolation with “virtual” hugs

Everyday Impact Story: Deloitte Belgium is donating tablets and smartphones to those admitted to hospitals and elder centers during the pandemic.

In the midst of the Coronavirus crisis, Deloitte people around the globe are working to connect to what matters each and every day. This story is part of a series featuring Deloitte people and the impactful work they are doing with clients and in the communities they serve.

What is the challenge?

To reduce the spread of COVID-19 – especially among vulnerable populations – nursing homes and healthcare centers have stopped or limited family visitations. This has deprived many people of their only connection to the outside world, as care homes and hospitals often lack the resources to help residents connect virtually. As a result, many tenants of elder care centers and patients in hospitals are feeling more stressed, scared and lonely than ever before.

How are we helping?

Deloitte Belgium, in partnership with Close the Gap and the Free University of Brussels (VUB), is donating tablets and smartphones to those admitted to hospitals and elder centers during the pandemic. By virtually connecting family and friends, the Virtual Hugs initiative aims to tackle the loneliness and isolation resulting from the coronavirus crisis.

So far, the initiative has reached over 500 hospitals and delivered more than 3500 devices (and counting), helping connect thousands in the weeks since its launch.

At Deloitte, we are connecting with our clients, people, and communities to make an impact every day.

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