Created on 7 October 2020

Making meetings matter

You may recall from an earlier blog that some of our participants have been helped to access funding to buy digital equipment. This is of course a fantastic thing, but if you’ve never used a tablet or a smartphone before, what do you do next?

Fortunately our Development and Skills Officers had already put together a “basic IT skills” package, and have been able to adapt that to make it relevant to different products. With a few small changes to the session it’s possible to get the same learning outcomes: an email account, an understanding of how to use it and an introduction to how to use the internet to find jobs.
We identified that it would be incredibly important to help participants set up their new “tech” from the start, to give as positive an introduction to the equipment as possible; but how to do that during a lock down? After a bit of investigation, and following the guidance of NHS England, it was decided that socially-distanced outdoor meetings could take place when absolutely necessary. With a bit of planning, our DSOs have been able to meet participants in the Great Outdoors to introduce them to their new kit.

The results have been incredible. Helping someone to access the internet for the first time is quite humbling, particularly when you see how proud they are of their achievements. To then build on that success, helping to create a CV for example, and showing someone that they’ve not been “left behind” during the pandemic, is a source of pride for our DSOs.

We’ll be carrying on with these meetings for as long as we can, and planning is underway to continue delivering this style of session throughout the winter. As always with HeadsUp, we’ll be looking to adapt our delivery to reflect the needs of our participants.


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