The telephone is normal to us – it has become such a crucial part of our everyday life and our way of communicating with others. It’s familiarity to all generations has led us to usea teleconference system to keep memory cafés connected and keepsocial groups still meeting during this difficult time. It’s so simple – we wish we’d done it before!
For those who have been shielding or found it difficult to go out, our telephone conference groups have been a lifeline. They’ve allowed groups of people that are used to physically meeting together, the opportunity to still meet up – just on the phone. For many, Zoom just isn’t an option, but they can all dial in and listen and chat using their phone. It’s taken a bit of time to learn how to listen and allow people to talk, but the groups have been a real success. We are running five groups a week now and are looking to expand. We have great conversations, normally centring around a theme – from holidays to hobbies, gardening to gastronomy, the conversation always flows and is always fun.
“The group has provided a real support to the members in these difficult times. Many of our members live alone, so it’s given them a real boost and something to look forward to” said a group organiser.
One lady told our facilitator, “I haven’t been out of the house in 87 days. It feels like all the girls are back together again. It’s really given me something to look forward to”. We are running these groups as part of the Bristol Support Hub.
Please have a look at the website https://www.linkagenetwork.org.uk/activities-events/ to see what groups are available from us and from others. If you would like Alive to run a teleconference group for you, just call the office on 0117 377 4756.