Ananda 9 is a non-profit voluntary organisation providing day to day opportunities for people with enduring mental health difficulties. They generally support individuals from the Asian community. The activities are designed to promote well-being, self-inclusion, confidence and independence.
WaveLength awarded 4 tablets for the group in September 2019 to prevent loneliness and isolation. The client group ranges from 30-70 years old and they all have serious mental health issues. Many people in the group had little to no experience in using a tablet before. The tablets have been extremely beneficial to Ananda 9’s members as they have learnt how to switch the tablets on and off and have used them to take part in weekly zoom activities.
The group leader working for Ananda 9 said: “We do zoom activities now, 3 days a week and it’s going brilliant. We do yoga, gentle exercise, arts and crafts. And we do quizzes and singing. Oh, they love singing! Before they were shy to sing in front of everybody and they weren’t confident, now because they are at home and alone, it’s kept them occupied. They are writing it down and singing full songs it’s like a competition, including myself I’ve been doing it too! It’s amazing!
Some people join for one day, some come all three days. At least 15-20 people each time we have attending. They really appreciate the tablets. They are also watching cartoons and playing games. Technology has been really great. So, they have really learnt a lot, I never thought they could do that.” Not only has the equipment helped them to continue running activities during the lockdown, it has also helped their members to socialise with others and maintain meaningful connections. One young lady from the group that wouldn’t normally interact with the other members has become a lot more talkative as Ananda 9’s group leader tells me that whenever an activity on zoom begins, she is always eager to speak first and ask the group “how are you, what are we doing today…”.