Christine, our Community Engagement and Development Manager, wants to share how our weekly Zoom parties have helped stay connected us all as we face the coronavirus pandemic.
We all know that 2020 has pushed us outside of our comfort zones, we have missed parties, holidays and our usual routines. We have missed seeing the people we love and spending time doing the things which make us happy.
Here at Options, we support to empower and enable people to live their lives to the full and we work towards a better world for people with disabilities. So when the world locked down and online video calls took off, we felt it was important to support people to do do that too.
On Friday 15th May, Options had our first intro to using and hosting a Zoom party. People logged on for the first time and we went over what Zoom was, how it worked, and how to stay safe. There was a lot to learn, not only about the new tech but the new social etiquette and language involved in meeting online. Danielle, Options’ Health Volunteer, wrote some quiz questions for the next week and we waited patiently to see how it would pan out.
Over twenty weeks later and we are still having a blast, many people use this time to see their family, others use it as a time to catch up with their friends who that don’t get to see as much. Each week someone writes their own round for the quiz! We have come up with a format that works for us – seven questions with answers, option A and B, and different hosts for each week who read out the questions. Some of our quiz rounds have been general knowledge, sport and music. But after Alan kept getting EVERY question right we had to try some more specialised quiz rounds, Craig’s ‘transport’ round has to be one of my favourites when he asked us a question about his favourite ferry.
Each week it has been a pleasure to see everyone stepping outside of their comfort zone, growing in confidence each time they host a quiz round and leading the group. It has also been amazing to see how support workers and families have gone above and beyond to support someone to host a quiz round in a person-centred way. I hope we can continue to include technology to support people to be part of their communities, keep in touch with friends and family and be part of a tech-savvy future.
If you’d like to join, we hold a Zoom party every Friday at 1pm! There is an Easy Read document that you can find on the left that will explain how to join.