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“Many of the women we work with don’t have access to smart device”

International Women’s Day 2021 #IWD2021

 

Story by women of Pause

 

Pause works with women who have experienced, or are at risk of, repeated pregnancies that result in children needing to be removed from their care.

A consistent theme for women in Pause during Covid is the impact of the digital divide.  Many of the women we work with don’t have access to smart devices, don’t have the budget for wifi, and aren’t familiar or comfortable using Zoom.  This has lead to significant levels of boredom, isolation, and loneliness, felt most acutely around the lack of face to face contact with their children.

Pause has worked to help women bridge the digital divide as much as possible, using Catalyst funding to purchase smart devices and data, holding weekly fun zoom meetings to help women get used to video conferencing, creating audio files teaching women how to download zoom, sending out texts and newsletters to women on a regular basis, and setting up a Pause Islington facebook group.

We have had good take-up of some of these services; 10 women joined us for a virtual trip to a sheep farm in New Zealand, and a lot of women have told us that they really appreciate getting the texts, even if they don’t show up to the groups, it’s good to know someone is thinking of them and there’s something on offer. Pause National has also offered a book club and craft activities, which have been well taken up.