WaveLength highlights radio’s role in combatting loneliness

WaveLength, the national UK charity whose mission is to reduce loneliness and isolation through the provision of technology to those most in need, has published a report (Preventing Loneliness Through Technology) highlighting how its work has helped combat the increase in loneliness and isolation brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

With society forced to adhere to social distancing rules and lockdown periods, Wavelength’s services have never been more in demand and the charity, which provides everyday technology such as radios, televisions, and tablet computers, to help people maintain and increase the number of meaningful connections they have in their lives, launched a number of initiatives in response to the impact of the virus.

Radio has played a vital role in keeping people informed and connected during the pandemic, and in March 2020, WaveLength launched a scheme for the over-70s distributing radios to those who were vulnerable and having to self-isolate in a bid to help them feel more connected to the outside world. The day after the launch, over 90,000 people visited the WaveLength website and, by day two, they had received over 9,000 applications.

The report goes on to say: “This was an overwhelming response, which highlighted the need for support. Our staff worked tirelessly to support those most in need, prioritising those who did not have a radio or broadband access, and those who were living alone. The scheme, which ended in April 2020, showed an outpouring of concern and thoughtfulness from people who were nominating their grandparents, friends and neighbours to receive a vital radio set.”

Highlighting how receiving the radio has helped, one person commented: “The radio has helped with my mental health. It has helped through distraction and refocusing, as I am often at crisis point. The radio has been really positive for me, it really has saved me.”

Other initiatives undertaken by WaveLength include donating tablets to dementia care homes to allow residents to play games for brain stimulation; providing radios and tablets to families that have children with autism and other disabilities; and providing survivors of domestic abuse with tablet computers to contact friends and family to let them know they are safe and lay the foundations of a new life.

Find out more about WaveLength and how to support their work here.