Grandpads unveiled to help reconnect older residents

PUBLISHED: 10:55 09 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:55 09 July 2020

Austin Reddy, one of the residents in East Suffolk who has received a Grandpad as part of a new trial. Picture: East Suffolk Council

Austin Reddy, one of the residents in East Suffolk who has received a Grandpad as part of a new trial. Picture: East Suffolk Council


A council is trialling a new scheme to help keep older residents connected with loved ones.

East Suffolk Council is lending tablets – ‘Grandpads’ – to older residents, who are vulnerable due to social isolation.

The East Suffolk Grandpad Loan Scheme is aimed at tackling social isolation amongst mainly older residents who have little or no contact with loved ones or the outside world due to a lack of Wi-Fi, equipment and/or skills.

The new scheme that is being trialled helps reconnect the residents, with the Grandpads specifically designed, as the large buttons and intuitive interface making it easy for older people to use the device.

Initially, the council will trial the scheme over a year and lend 24 Grandpads (free of charge) to older residents across the district who have been identified as being socially isolated.

The devices will include unlimited 4G internet, 24/7 personalised support and unlimited minutes.

Once the trial period ends, East Suffolk Council will evaluate and determine its success and whether residents will benefit from the scheme being rolled out across the district if additional funding can be secured.

Letitia Smith, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for communities, leisure and tourism, said: “Many older people have little or no experience with technology but that doesn’t mean they should be excluded from the many benefits it can offer, such as keeping connected with loved ones, accessing health services and online shopping.”

Stephen Burroughes, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for customer services and operational partnerships with responsibility for Digital Transformation, said: “This scheme enables users to do a whole range of things online safe in the knowledge that the device can be trusted and that only trusted contacts can communicate with them.

“The Grandpads could open up a whole new world of opportunities to people that have them”.

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