Keeping Veterans Connected This Christmas 

Empowering Veteran Support with the Gift of Tablets This Christmas

Emma Sneddon, Marketing Manager, Welcomm Communications Ltd

By Emma Sneddon

December 20, 2021

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organisations have shifted to delivering their services remotely. Whilst this may work for most, for those without access to the internet (or a suitable device), such technological barriers have created a digital divide; meaning those ‘without’ cannot easily access information or readily connect with others, causing isolation and limiting access to knowledge.

That is why in response to COVID, Combat Stress: The UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health, have begun trialling a new initiative that provides tablets and data connectivity to the veterans they support. These tablets act as a lifeline, giving each veteran in need access to the internet to meet virtually with specialists/therapists, access online resources, and remain connected as a community through peer support. These tablets are then gifted to the veterans to keep.

And now, with the Government continuing to advise the public to avoid non-essential travel, the treatments and support Combat Stress provides to over 14,000 veterans per year have moved to a 70% digital, 30% in-person model – making digital inclusivity more important than ever for the former servicemen and women dealing with issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression.   

What’s Going on This Christmas?

In support of the new digital Veteran Support Programme, this Christmas, Combat Stress’s veteran-owned technology partner Welcomm Communications, together with industry innovator Nokia Mobile, have teamed up to donate brand new Nokia T20 tablets to the programme – to equip more veterans with the technology they need this winter.

Only released in October this year, the Nokia T20 tablet is the perfect solution for veterans accessing online resources, as this brand-new device offers the security, battery life and fast user experience that they will need. 

Speaking of this gesture, Robert Marsh, Director of Fundraising at Combat Stress shared:

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“Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been delivering our specialist services to veterans online. There are some veterans who struggle to access our digital services though, due to either limited or no access to the internet, so we are providing free tablets to them. However, with our limited financial resources this is not something we can do alone.

With the fantastic new tablets that Welcomm has secured for us through their partner Nokia Mobile, we can now reach out, engage with, and assist even more veterans, enabling them to access vital online therapy programmes and even wider connectivity to family and friends who they may be isolated from.

We are extremely grateful to Welcomm Communications for their continued support. Through donations like this, we are able to continue delivering our life-changing services to veterans across the UK and help them to rebuild their lives.”

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Chris Ruddle, Finance Director at Welcomm Communications added:

“A veteran-owned business ourselves, we are thrilled to be able to work so closely with Combat Stress.

As the charity’s technology partner and thanks to the generous support of our partners, including Nokia Mobile, we are proud to have connected thousands of people throughout the pandemic.

Hearing about the difference this technology will make to ex-servicemen and women is incredible – the services and support that Combat Stress offers is truly life-changing.”

How to Get Involved

With the demand for mental health support increasing worldwide, so far Nokia tablets have been rolled out to dozens of veterans and the initial feedback from users has been incredibly positive. So much so that in 2022, Combat Stress aims to gift a tablet to every ex-service man and woman that needs access to their services (and couldn’t otherwise participate virtually). This will likely amount to over 1,000 tablets total.

As a charity that is 75% reliant on public donations, this is an ambitious target to reach. To support Combat Stress, and empower Veteran support in the new year, visit their website to donate:

To learn more about Nokia T20 tablets, contact our team today!

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