Fund helps create Living Smart Homes



A project which helps vulnerable adults living with health inequalities in west Essex has launched a digital centre.

Living Smart Homes is funded by the Essex County Council Covid Recovery (COMF) scheme through the West Essex health Inequalities Group and supported by West Essex Community Action Network across Epping, Harlow and Uttlesford.

It is also part of the work of the One Health and Care Partnership which brings together the NHS, Councils and voluntary sector to improve health and care services across west Essex.

Five homes across west Essex were chosen as showcase venues and kitted out with the latest technology to show how easily it can be used to support those in need. Louise Gambardella, project co-ordinator explains the homes were selected across Harlow, Epping and Uttlesford.

As well as being able to visit those homes, community organisations and individuals who think they can benefit from the scheme will be able to book an appointment to visit the new digital centre, based at unit 57a in the Harvey Centre in Harlow.

“We found people might not want to go into the home of others to see what we were doing so having the digital centre will allow organisations and individuals interested in the scheme to come in and have a look too,” said Louise.

Some of these items are available to try out at the new digital centre and include:

  • Smart speakers, plugs and bulbs
  • Cupboard and freezer sensors
  • Video doorbells
  • Memory tile devices
  • Camera speaker systems
  • Room temperature sensors
  • Virtual reality headsets

Clive Emmett, director of West Essex Community Action Network, explains the technology can help in many ways: “As well as improving independence for individuals it also hugely supports carers and relatives and can help reduce isolation.

“Simple things like the freezer alarms we put on the fridge of a lady who kept forgetting she had left it open.

“The alarm sends message to her phone, or it can send it to a neighbour or relative, who can alert you that the fridge or freezer is open.”