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Blog: Top tips to keep community groups connected

Published on 20 November 2020 02:54 PM

While we are unable to see each other as much as we would like, it’s important for community groups to keep members connected. For some, attending their local group may be their only source of social interaction.

As the way we live our lives has changed for the foreseeable future, it is important that we engage with each other in a range of different ways to ensure that this interaction remains, even if we can’t meet face to face again just yet.

Remember, while some may find adjusting to these different types of engagement comes easily, others will be learning a new skill and may take a little longer. If you’re looking for inspiration, take a look at these top tips from Age Scotland’s community development team.

Pick up the phone

Firstly, make sure you have permission to call members. If so, they are bound to appreciate you taking the time to give them a call. A friendly chat over the phone is a great way to keep up social connections, as well as keep members up to date on future activities.

Send a text

For individuals who may find it particularly difficult communicating over the phone, such as those with hearing loss, communicating via SMS messaging is a great alternative for keeping in touch.

Create a buddy system

Create opportunities for new friendships to blossom by setting up a system that pairs up members for a weekly catch-up phone call. By changing buddies, members will have the opportunity to speak to and connect with different people.

Use social media to your advantage

For those with internet access, a Facebook or WhatsApp messaging group could be the perfect way for a larger number of members to stay in touch and share updates with one another.

Arrange a virtual event

There’s no doubt that virtual meetings and events have been a key factor to helping groups navigate this pandemic. A Zoom coffee morning is a great way to connect and, for members with poor connection or no internet access, you could use a platform which allows telephone access.

Share resources

To help ensure your members are looking after their mental, physical and emotional wellbeing at home, you could put together a wellbeing information pack.

Age Scotland’s community development team are busy producing new resources guides to support groups in their day to day running in the future.

The first guide, Keeping older people socially connected whilst physically distant, provides information on different methods for maintaining connections, as well as providing hints and tips in implementing measures that comply with health and safety regulations.

For a copy of the guide, email members@agescotland.org.uk or call 0333 323 2400.

Advantage Magazine

Advantage is the Age Scotland magazine that provides information, inspiration and ideas to empower Scotland's older people, their families and carers.

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