At Copier King we value our customers and the work that they do.
As expert suppliers of photocopiers and printers as well as sales, leasing, hire, rentals, repairs and service maintenance contracts we are an integral part of many UK wide and local companies and believe it is important to support businesses in the local community, particularly non-profit organisations, and charities.
One such charity that we have offered support to and built a wonderful relationship with is Compaid. This charity supports disabled and older people to overcome the barriers of social, digital, and economic exclusion through the provision of community transport, digital skills training, and employment support services.
Compaid was founded in 1986 by Lorna Ridgway MBE, who recognised the enormous potential of technology to increase the communication and creative opportunities for those living with disability. The charity now supports over 1,800 disabled and older people each year helping to reduce loneliness and isolation, supporting access to local community services, developing digital skills enabling people to connect with family and friends online, and gain practical vocational skills to move into employment or further training.
2018 Copier king provided Compaid with two new photocopiers, enabling them to be able to print and copy clients work, designs, and artwork. It made such a difference to the charity and the people who use it and we were delighted that we could help. But we wanted to do more
In 2019 the new Mayor of Tunbridge Wells, Councillor James Scholes, named Compaid as the charity for his mayoral year, saying that he had learnt about computers early in his career, and appreciated the opportunities that technology had afforded him. He was keen to support Compaid in its aim to enable disabled and other disadvantaged people to get online and become more digitally active.
The charity had some fundraising events lined up during the year organised by the Mayoral office and Copier King wanted to continue to show support, so we provided sponsorship for some products and gave a Toshiba TV as an auction prize, helping to raise much needed funds for this wonderful cause.
Diane Bradley – Compaid’s fundraising manager has this to say about Copier King:
‘Our great relationship with Copier King has gone far beyond the leasing of two new printers. Last year we were fortunate to become the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells chosen charity and this friendly local company were quick to offer their support with an auction prize for the Mayor’s annual dinner and sponsored merchandise that we used at fundraising events throughout the year. During lockdown it was comforting to know that we had the use of reliable printers which enabled some of our clients to send their work, card designs and artwork to the office for a member of staff to print and deliver back to them. This simple but personal support has had a big impact on many who have been isolated for many months, with no contact with the ‘outside world’.’
Compaid is emerging from lockdown and they are beginning to revive their vital support network.
Following the lockdown in mid-March Compaid made the hard decision to temporarily close their digital skills training centre. The centre coordinator spoke to every one of the 70 regular service users, or their family member, to understand what types of remote support might be required for the individuals at home, and how this could best be delivered. This included identifying where laptops or tablets may need to be supplied, along with internet connectivity in some cases.
Through the use of Team Viewer software, the amazing and dedicated staff and volunteers were able to work remotely to support people in their own homes. These services enable isolated individuals to develop the skills and confidence to use the internet to get in touch with family and friends, access services online such as community food parcels and supermarket deliveries, and to enjoy streaming entertainment whilst they were isolated at home.
Not only that, the charities volunteers assisted by making phone calls to their more vulnerable clients who really needed to hear a friendly voice and have the reassurance that Compaid were still on hand to support.
Meanwhile, the transport manager spoke to over 100 of Compaids regular shoppers and dial-a-ride users to understand what their immediate needs were due to self-isolation, what local or family support they were receiving in support of these, and what unmet needs Compaid could usefully fill with their available transport.
For a few clients living remotely Compaids drivers were delivering a pro-active shopping service, obtaining a list of required items from each individual, and arranging a click and collect service so that the driver could bring the items straight to the vulnerable person's home. Where individuals still needed to attend medical appointments, staff and volunteers provided this service.
With a strong leadership at the helm, Compaid has started to emerge from months of uncertainty and, having secured some Covid emergency funding grants, have been able to recover some areas of lost revenue due to the closure of the centre and transport journeys. Plans are in place for the return of some clients to the training centre in late September.
For many, forced to self-isolate for several months, this return to familiar surroundings will not only enable them to finally leave their homes, but offer much needed respite to their partners and family members. This means ensuring that vehicles and Training Centre are safe and welcoming spaces, installing misting and cleaning facilities on site, urging all who can, to wear masks and gloves, and employing social distancing measures.
Since the Coronavirus outbreak, Compaid has registered with local community hubs to ensure that services are working in a complementary way with others. Through these hubs they are identifying other vulnerable people not previously known to them who could benefit from their services. Through emerging local and national initiatives, Compaid have been fortunate to access technology donations for some of our most digitally excluded training clients, with an aim to reducing further isolation.
We are proud of our relationship with Compaid, an excellent charity providing much needed service and support to those in Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding areas.
For further information and to enquire about any of Compaid’s services please view the website www.compaid.org.uk or call 01892 834539 | Email. firstname.lastname@example.org