Covid-19 Network Resources

Last updated on 13 November 2020

Already online but in need of help or wanting to help others?

Get free 1-to-1 remote digital support

  • Call our Digital Helpline on 07475946084 and get help from one of our volunteer Digital Champions (please leave a message with your name, telephone number and what help you need).
  • We’ve also teamed up with AbilityNet who are providing free one-to-one remote support for anyone who needs help to get online during the pandemic (e.g. setting up a new device, keeping in touch with family, online shopping, staying safe online). Call 0800 048 7642 to get some help now!
    Please note this service is extended to everyone, not just older people or disabled people.

Useful resources & guides

Digital Champion resources

Do you need tech equipment or to get internet access?

Get in touch or call us on 07475946084 if you need guidance and support to access a device or get connected during the pandemic.

Tablet loan scheme

  • Tablet Loan Scheme: We’re part of the DevicesDotNow campaign and have donated a limited amount of connected tablets to those vulnerable groups who would benefit the most from being online during the pandemic. We hope to get more soon! Please complete this form to express interest in receiving a tablet.
  • Donating old tech: There are lots of well-meaning attempts to get donations of old devices but please bear in mind that circulating these without prior refurbishing and adequate setup to those that are digitally excluded can create more problems that it solves. If you have old kit to donate, please hold on to it for now – we are in touch with TechTakeBack who will be in a position to collect your old devices for repurposing in the Brighton & Hove area very soon.

Grants and discounts to help obtain tech equipment

  • Fighting lonelinessWavelength support organisations who help people who are lonely and isolated, by giving free free TVs, tablets, and radios for clients. This technology is often used in communal spaces or as part of specific projects. Grants are available for individual or group requests.
  • Older peopleFriends of the Elderly provide grants to help older people get online and stay connected. They can be used towards the cost of equipment such as tablets and smartphones as well as broadband costs. Email at hello@fote.org.uk or call 0330 332 1110.
  • Get Online at Home is one of the organisations that sell refurbished laptops and PCs to people on benefits. It also serves charities.
  • Please also have a look at our resources page to source cheap(er) equipment.

Getting connected: at home and mobile

  • BT Basic is a simple, low-cost phone and internet service that keeps you connected if you are on specific low income benefits. BT Basic + Broadband will cost £9.95 in total a month (which includes your BT Basic line rental. Find out whether you can get BT Basic.
  • Mobile Data Bundles: If you just need access to the internet using your mobile, there are some cheap mobile data bundles available from ID Mobile and Smarty starting at £4 per month. Find out more here.
  • Mobile WiFi (“MiFi”) Dongle – Prices start from £30.
  • Internet companies have also removed data ‘caps’ for fixed broadband (check with your provider), and ‘zero-rated’ NHS sites. Find out more here.

Are you a local community organisation in need of digital support?

Digital resources & guides

Digital offers and discounts

Find help to switch your service delivery from ‘in person’ to ‘online’

  • SCVO’s Top Tips: from handling initial enquiries to booking appointments and referrals digitally, some handy tips from our voluntary and community sector partners in Scotland
  • Service recipes for charities: the Catalyst Network has launched practical guides to help charities reuse and learn from one another’s services.
  • Third Sector Lab / SCVO Digital Service Delivery for Charities: Third Sector Digital/SCVO’s open Google Doc lists best practice, policies, guidance and more for rapid deployment of essential charity services to online channels. They also run weekly Zoom calls. 

Virtual digital support sessions

Privacy, security and safeguarding

We’re discussing how we can help people to understand and learn about online privacy and security. We will also be exploring the safeguarding arrangements needed when providing remote digital skills support. The session will include plenty of time for our regular weekly Q&A on supporting people’s digital skills during the pandemic.
Watch the video

Designing digital services for everyone

As part of Global Accessibility Awareness day, we will be providing an introduction to digital accessibility, some tips and resources to make you services more accessible, as part of our efforts to increase digital skills during the pandemic.
Watch the video

Digital skills support for people with English as an additional language

Join Citizens Online, Voices in Exile and Migrants Organise to discuss how we can ensure people with English as an additional language can access online services during the pandemic?
Watch the video

Remote digital skills & accessibility during the pandemic

Join Citizens Online and AbilityNet who will discuss how we can best support people’s digital skills at this time, with a focus on accessibility
Watch the video

How can I provide remote digital skills support?

Joined by Digital Unite who will be introducing their perspective on supporting people’s digital skills, and talking about their Digital Champions Network.
Watch the video

Tech for Good Brekkie – Online Accessibility & Inclusion

Everyone is suddenly trying to access essential information on our websites! How do we make sure they’re accessible and can be used by everyone? Ask your questions and share your own tips too. It’s informal – bring your brekkie and a cuppa!
View Brekkie Resources

How can I provide remote digital skills support?

Joined by Diversity and Ability, an award-winning, disabled-led, social enterprise which specialises in 1-to-1 Assistive Technology Training, and who talk about software tools available to help provide remote support during this time – with an emphasis on accessibility, and meaningful support.
Watch the video

Staying in touch: Using technology to chat with family and friends

This webinar offers information and support on how you can stay connected with family and friends using technology during a time of social isolation – and to learn skills for when it is no longer necessary. Hosted by Abilitynet in collaboration with Citizens Online and Care for the Carers.
Watch the video

Funding opportunities

Sussex Crisis Fund
Funding of up to £5,000.
The Sussex Crisis Fund is designed to help fund the emerging needs facing our communities and the work of organisations whose operations and activities have been severely impacted during this period. For example, it includes initiatives which “enable and encourage use of technologies to help with isolation”.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Find more useful resources on this page and in our latest newsletter.