Edward Alsop Court is a hostel for homeless older men with complex needs in London SW1. The residents, being ‘locked in’ by the pandemic, found their loss of freedom every bit as hard to tolerate as other citizens. Boredom leading to frustration and low mood was a common problem, according to Gen Wallace, their clinical psychologist. The hostel’s appeal to shops and companies for books, games, etc., was producing little.
Hamptoneers responded quickly and generously with books of all types, jigsaws, DVDs, CDs and games. A Skoda Yeti, full to the roof, back seat, passenger seat and throughout, was soon on its way to the hostel. The arrival provoked great interest among the residents, who really enjoyed the profusion of topics and titles suddenly available.
Best of all was the Hamptoneer who knew that a school had just upgraded its tablets, and arranged that 18 working but slightly elderly Chromebooks were donated to the cause. This was marvellous, enabling residents with modest IT skills to access professional advice, stay in touch with friends and family, as well as general entertainment. These highly-desirable assets were individually allocated to residents across several hostels. Gen commented ‘it’s been really helpful to be able to make the lockdown more tolerable for these people, HCC’s donations had a tangible positive effect, and it’s been a lovely gesture which has really made a difference to everyone at EAC’.