We Cant Be In The Same Room – But We’re Connecting On Zoom!
Our countywide respite groups are a key part of our service delivery, enabling young carers to get together with others who share similar experience, have fun, get a break from caring, try new activities and have a chance to talk to staff and friends about what’s on their mind. The groups also act as a ‘wellbeing monitor’ allowing GYC staff to check in with young carers when they attend.
With the challenges of lockdown we had to quickly rethink how we connected with and supported young carers. We began at the start of April to trial the use of Zoom so we could continue to have real time connections with young carers and enable them to see and interact with each other.
(Beginning of April, our first Zoom trial with young carers– loo roll hunt!)
We reached out to all of our young carer families to offer their children a chance to get involved, and we now run weekly groups for our junior (8-11) and senior (12-16) young carers. We asked Lin Powell, our Project Worker (Youth Work) to describe how it has gone so far.
What have been the challenges of running groups through zoom?
It’s been a steep learning curve. The biggest challenge is running activities with no equipment – most of the games and activities we can do on Zoom use pen & paper or no equipment at all so the thinking around running a session has completely changed. It’s great that the children can see each other on screen but its difficult for them to chat between themselves which I know is something that a lot of them are missing.
What has worked well so far?
The junior groups love a good scavenger hunt, they really enjoy getting up and running around the house trying to find something before anybody else and therefore win that round! Drawing activities/games have also worked well, with some funny results that provoke conversation and laughter. The seniors have engaged well in drawing activities, quizzes and of course any games that might involve their precious mobile phones!