The past year has been challenging for everyone and the people who live and learn at Hollybank are no exception. The people we care for have struggled during the pandemic due to not being able to see their families in person.

Having contact with the ones we love during these tough times has been a lifeline for the majority of us. Being able to have immediate access to Facetime and other video calling applications has meant we could keep in touch with family and friends and in turn has eased some of the feelings of disconnect and loneliness.

The people we care for have also felt the sense of disconnect throughout the pandemic. Luckily, some of our residents have been able to have the next best thing by using their tablets to conduct video calls with their family and friends. We would love everyone at Hollybank to have this facility, but this unfortunately isn’t the case.

So, we're launching an appeal and we’d love your help! We’re calling all existing and new supporters,  local businesses big or small, local community groups, schools and individuals to dig deep and donate whatever you can towards our iPad appeal, so that our residents can see their families at the touch of a button whenever they want.

One of our residents who lives in The Beeches said, “: I would be lost without it my tablet. It was broken once and had to go away for repairs for 3 weeks meaning I had to use the computer which wasn’t the same because I needed the staff to help me and be present when I was using it.

This meant they were there when I was calling my family which impacted on our privacy. I couldn’t play games and I had no access to Alexa which meant I was very fed up. I also had less contact with my family when I didn’t have my tablet.”

iPads are used for much more than video calls across the Trust. They’re used in our Speech and Language Therapy sessions and serve as communication aids so that our non-verbal young people are able to communicate at the touch of a button.

iPads also speak to all our other systems and enable us to install firewalls and have a fully secure tech system, right across the trust. They also help our residents to gain or maintain independence by enabling them to turn their lights on or off at the touch of a button.

You can donate to our appeal here.  If you'd like more information, you can email the communications team.