Posted: 04 May 2020 7 min. read

Sending devices to those in need

With Coronavirus lockdown measures in place for over a month, it’s well known by now that working from home can be tricky. Kids running around in the background of conference calls. Sharing small spaces with partners, housemates or, if you're lucky, pets. Or feeling isolated from colleagues, especially for those living alone.

But, though it might not feel like it at times, most of us who have the ability to work from home are lucky to be set up to do so.

It's not the same for everyone. Many organisations, particularly in the non-profit and charity sector, don't have the devices they need to support all their staff working from home.

This lack of digital capabilities has meant that many of these organisations are unable to continue supporting those in need during this crisis - exactly at a time when their support is most critical.

To help, Deloitte’s IT Service has donated 28​0 laptops to the NHS and our One Million Futures charities. The team is also providing volunteers to a new initiative that aims to support those in the community who don't have access to the devices they need.

Here's what it's all about.

Digital support for our frontline workers and charities

In times like these, it's important that we all work together to support our communities. That's why we've donated 100 laptops to NHS Trusts in Liverpool, Newcastle, Bradford, Calderdale and Huddersfield as part of a joint initiative with KPMG, plus an additional 80 laptops to NHS Trusts in Scotland.

The donations will help to ease significant pressure for the Trusts over the coming weeks, enabling office based staff to help keep the system going in these critical times.

A further 100 laptops have been donated to charities across the country, including Changing Lives, Greenbank, IntoUniversity, Llamau, Papworth Trust, Simon Community NI and St Catherine's Hospice.

Because of the Coronavirus, many of these charities are seeing a significant increase in demand and these laptops will help them as they continue to deliver vital services across the UK. St Catherine's Hospice, for example, have said that the laptops will help keep their vital support services running, enabling the hospice to stay open. They will also minimise the infection risk to very vulnerable patients by keeping only essential staff on site.

In addition, the tax team have coordinated donations for Tax Aid and Tax Help for Older People, as well as helping them respond to an exceptionally high call volume from those who have lost their jobs or have had to close businesses.

Sourcing devices to connect communities

In addition to donating devices, we are providing pro bono support to the DeviceDotNow initiative, as part of our larger work with FutureDotNow.

The DeviceDotNow initiative aims to support the 1.7 million households in the UK who do not have access to the internet and are digitally isolated on top of their physical isolation.

The campaign, supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, asks businesses to donate tablets, smartphones and laptops, as well as connectivity in the form of sims, dongles and mobile hotspots.

These are urgently needed to get the most vulnerable people in the UK online, ensuring they aren't cut off from their loved ones and the outside world.

The hope is that these donations will truly make an impact for these organisations, so that they can continue to make their impact in their local communities, supporting those who need it most.

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