With the announcement of another UK-wide lockdown, it’s more important than ever to keep connected with the individuals and communities who are important in our lives.
Last year it was inspiring to see how those of you who could, continued to provide support to each other, your volunteers, members and service users online or by telephone. We know that following the announcement many of you will be looking to continue keeping in touch this way.
To help you do this, we’ve put together some resources and tips which you might find useful.
Zoom video conferencing
You may have taken part in one of our online training sessions or forums using a video conferencing tool called Zoom. You can find the Zoom website by clicking this link. It’s an application (similar to FaceTime or Skype) which allows you to participate via your PC, tablet or mobile phone. When you join an online session, you can see and interact with the other participants on your screen. You can choose to use your device’s camera or to just be a voice in the discussion. You can also simply join the meeting by phone, including from a landline.
There is a free version of Zoom available, which could be a great tool for replacing in-person Coordinating Team meetings, or for providing support to your local MS community. Meetings of more than two people are capped at 40 minutes in the free version, but you should be able to immediately repeat the meeting to enjoy a further 40 minutes.
The paid version (which groups are welcome to sign up for) costs £11.99 a month, but has no time restrictions. The subscription can be cancelled at any time. To sign up for the paid version, visit the Zoom website here.
Whether you are using a free or paid version of Zoom, security is important. Our 'Guide for hosts' below contains information (see page 6) on how you can turn on features to protect your meetings.
If you’d like to try Zoom out, here are some useful guides:
If you are already using social media to inform and support, or are thinking about establishing an online presence for your group as a way of reaching out, the following guides may be helpful: