Computers 4 Carers
Image not available

Do you have any

computer equipment

you no longer need?

Image not available


Is it under

5 years old?

Image not available

Then you can

help a carer fight isolation


Digital Heroes 2010

 Wendy Maxwell digital hero

Wendy is the East Anglia Digital Heroes winner, 2010. She works for the charity, Chill4us ( ), on a project that aims to get carers online and in touch with each other. Wendy campaigns for free laptops for carers, and has so far given out more than 100 computers. We took a few minute’s of Wendy’s time to find out how she started Chill4us and what it means for the charity to be a Digital Heroes winner.

How did it feel to be a 2010 Digital Heroes winner?

“The members and I were very excited. It gave us great thrill but most of all it gave us hope that we will survive. We thought we would have to discontinue the website.”

Can you give some examples of how and where Chill4us helps people?

“We have a 24 hour forum and a chat room where the members can post messages at any time or chat when they are feeling a bit sad and give support and friendship to one another. We also have an archive with games. Chill4us ( ) is a private website and the carers seem to appreciate that. They discuss personal issues that are close to their heart and they don’t want other people to see it.”

Who came up with the idea for the project?

“It was my son Ross who set it up for us and we are so grateful for what he did. I had the idea to call the project Chill4Us – it just came to me and seemed like a great idea. Ross also helped us set up the ‘Computer 4 Carers’ website ( ) 2 years ago. I realised that carers are often isolated and that they need computers to communicate with other people, so that’s how it all started.”

What inspires and/or influences your work at Chill4us?

“It is the openness of their hearts and the support that they give to one another. The members say that it feels like having an online family where they can reach out to and share experiences with like-minded people. On our website, we’ve been doing hosted chats with MPs and charities. The members directed one for us last week and it was nice to see that the carers really supported one another. It is very important to us to find people who need this support and give them access to it.”

What has been the greatest challenge getting your ideas to realisation?

“We started the ‘Computer 4 Carers’ project in 2002 and then in 2005 we set up Chill4us. (6th August is going to be the birthday of Chill4us.) The main challenges were getting us acknowledged and letting the carers know that we were there for them. Our other big challenge was securing finances.”

What did you do with the £5,000 prize money?

“We decided to spend some money on laptops and then keep the rest, so that Chill4us is financially secured for a few years. We rely on people donating their old computers and laptops to us, but now, because of the cut backs, we’re not getting many. We hope that people will realise how important laptops are to carers.”

Where did you learn about the internet? Do you have any tips for people looking to start a digital project similar to yours to help their local communities?

“I’ve learned about how to use the computer and the internet in my community library. My son showed me about the internet and then I thought, ‘well, I’m going to go to the library and see if I like it’ and I realised I did like it. Soon after, I bought my own laptop. People are very welcome to get in touch with me any time if they want any tips or advice.”

How people can get involved with your project and donate?

“You can visit our website where you can learn more about us, how to get in touch, what we do and also click on ‘donate’ button. If you want to help us with Computers 4 Carers, the details are on .”

How many carers did you manage to get online?

 “We’ve helped enable 120 carers to get on computers so far and there are 650 members on Chill4us forum ( ). We’re also active on Twitter (!/Chill4usCarers ) and Facebook ( .”

Do you have any nice response from the carers that you’d like to share with us?

“Most of them like to stay in touch with us. In particular, one lady was so grateful because we helped her to get in touch with her son. He lives away from home and she is now able to chat with him on Skype.”

What do you think carers miss out on in the online world?

“Carers are very isolated and they don’t get much money (they only get £54 a week carer’s allowance) so many of them cannot afford to buy a computer. You become a carer in an instant and when it happens to you, you find yourself in a difficult situation. You’ve got someone to look after who is sick, you’ve got to find out where to get help and where to get medicine - you can feel stuck. In this situation, having access to the internet means a lot.

“I’d like to give a special thank you to my son Ross and our friend Derek. I couldn’t be doing this without their help and support.”

You can read more here









How can individuals help?

If you have a computer,laptop or tablet that is under 5 years old, then you can help a carer in need.thumbs up


How can companies help?

If your company is upgrading its computer equipment and it is under 5 years, then you can help. thumbs up


We erase all your data professionally

All data is professionally wiped from all equipment, ensuring the data can never be recovered. thumbs up


sun logoCaring for a loved one is often a lonely task because of the many hours spent caring, along with having little money or support.
Carers Allowance is the lowest benefit there is, and there are many carers who do not even realize they are a carer.
Most carers are unable to leave the house due to not being able to leave the person they care for on their own, which can obviously leave the carer feeling isolated.  Because of this many carers feel depressed or have a lack of self worth.

We at Computers4Carers understand these issues, which is why our unpaid staff campaign to give the carer a window to the outside world - a free laptop, if they live in Norfolk and are in receipt of benefits and do not have any access to the internet.
The carer then can get shopping on line, do banking, access services and find support but most of all make friends.