Newsletter 5-3

Volume 5, Issue 2  July-August, 2021

In this Issue:
Back in Lockdown
Digital Mentoring Services
Zoom Hosting Service
Our YouTube Channel

Download as PDF LC Newsletter Vol 5 Iss 3

Back in Lockdown

Though it irks us that the Illawarra is considered part of “Greater Sydney”, we remain in lockdown. We are using this time to update our online presence and back of house systems. UOW team members are once again struggling with online learning, and we offer them our support. We have also taken on some new team members looking for something to do online: Mija and Shibin in Wollongong, Lyn in Batemans Bay, and Alden in India who heard about us from one of our interns.

Digital Mentoring Services

For a number of weeks to come we may not be able to offer our face-to-face services, but we will resume our Drop-in help sessions and home visits as soon as allowed. This may start with those in regional areas. Meanwhile, our regular online group sessions on Zoom are becoming popular. Clients can also contact us to book an individual Zoom session with one of our team. Please drop in at any time (details in the email or see https://livingconnected.org.au/living-connected-online/).

Typical 1 on 1 help in a Zoom breakout room using screen sharing.

Zoom Hosting Service We are still offering a service to help organisations and groups run Zoom meetings.  We can host for you or give you instructions and practice to host yourself. We can also record a session and put it up on our YouTube channel so you can send the link to others, as we did for an online presentation for the National Council of Jewish Women NSW. Click the link to view. https://youtu.be/pmTbbwANOVM

Our YouTube Channel

In “normal’ times our team members (also called digital mentors) get a great deal of joy and satisfaction from helping elders in person.  With only Zoom services while in lockdown we have fewer clients. So, to keep spirits up, team members are creating short video clips introducing themselves for our YouTube Channel (banner and link below).

Use this link and subscribe to our channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkjbruEQ13J4mGwUMVZSJPg

Remember, YouTube belongs to Google so you can sign in to YouTube with your Google (gmail) account.

Newsletter 5-2

       Volume 5, Issue 2  Apr-June, 2021

In this Issue:

IRT Program Completed
Team Changes
Getting back to Normal
We Do Magic Award

Download as PDF LC Newsletter Vol 5 Iss 2

IRT Program Completed

Living Connected has just finished running 3 x 2hour digital training sessions in 20 IRT facilities in the Illawarra, Kiama, Shoalhaven and Southern Sydney. We now look forward to concentrating on our regular program. Thankfully, we completed the last 2 sessions with IRT residents on June 25, the Friday before we went into lockdown. We met some wonderful seniors residing in IRT facilities, including folk at Towradgi Village, one of the smallest, pictured below.  Also below, you see that we were helped by some of our Young Mentors in the April school holidays at IRT Diment Tower: a win-win experience for both learners and mentors.  A big thankyou to our team who helped run almost 60 extra sessions in the last 3 months.

Team Changes

Mid-year means that some of our student helpers graduate and leave us. Here we say farewell to Ridwone , a regular helper at our Unanderra Dropin, off to do a PhD in Queensland. We now take on new interns Harley and Rose and several new UOWx volunteers. Thanks to Naz for the selfie effort.

Getting back to normal

We look forward to spending more time on our regular program of Dropin sessions and home visits. These continue to be popular, helping people with their individual challenges using phones, tablets, laptops and the internet.  We hold three weekly Dropins in the Illawarra and monthly sessions further afield at Albion Park Rail, Nowra, Culburra and Bundanoon. We will soon be starting up Dropins sessions at Lake Conjola and further south in the Eurobodalla. All sessions are free of charge.

We Do Magic Awards

Living Connected was successful at the recent awards presented by the Community Industry Group, an amazing organistion that brings together all the wonderful people who run community programs in the Illawarra.  We were privileged to win the “Terrific Team Effort” category for our Young Mentors program and were a finalist in the “Reinvention and Rejuvenation” and “Friends in Need” categories.  Helen and Sue are here with Omar from iAccelerate and Nicky from CIG.

Newsletter 5-1

Volume 5 Issue 1 February-March 2021

In this Issue:
Starting 2021
Group Sessions
New Team Members
Seniors Festival
Partnership
Home Visits

Download as PDF Newsletter 5-1

Starting 2021
As with many other enterprises, Living Connected is bouncing back to face-to-face business in 2021.

Group Sessions
In the Illawarra we are now running 3 well-attended weekly Doropin sessions at Unanderra Community Center Mon 1:30pm), Woonona Bulli RSL (Thurs 3pm) and iAccelerate (Tues 10am) on the Innovation Campus.  We are also holding monthly sessions at Albion Park Rail (see picture), Nowra, Culburra and Bundanoon.
All sessions are free of charge.
See our website for details

Group Sessions
In the Illawarra we are now running 3 well-attended weekly Doropin sessions at Unanderra Community Center Mon 1:30pm), Woonona Bulli RSL (Thurs 3pm) and iAccelerate (Tues 10am) on the Innovation Campus.  We are also holding monthly sessions at Albion Park Rail (see picture), Nowra, Culburra and Bundanoon.
All sessions are free of charge

New Team Members
On Saturday March 6, the post graduate residences at Wollongong University held a welcome to new students and several new student volunteers and interns were recruited at the Living Connected table.  We have also welcomed others who have heard of our work and come on board to help out at our Dropin Centres and Zoom Sessions.

Seniors Festival
It used to be called Seniors Week but now the NSW annual event is called Seniors Festival. This year the dates are April 13-24 we will hold several special events aligned with our various Dropin Sessions. See details in the relevant Council publications and our Facebook and Web pages.

Partnerships
Living Connected could not operate without strong ongoing partnerships with community and aged-care organisations. Over the past few months, we have been partnering with Warrigal Care to deliver Samsung tablets to seniors in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven and help recipients set them up the way they want.  We are just about to embark on new venture with IRT, teaching residents in their facilities in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and southern Sydney about their digital devices in preparation for the roll out of a new app, IRT Connect.  A big thanks to all those who partner with us.

Home Visits.
In 2019 we were funded by the Goodthings Foundation to develop our now popular home service. This is our most costly service, but we have been providing it free of charge, firstly as a condition of the grant and then due to challenges with COVID.  Our original intention was to provide a first visit free each year and then charge after that with a significant discount for pensioners.  This will be our policy from now on.  We are hoping that those who have government care packages, will be able to pay for our service through them.  We are talking to home care managers about this.  We will make further announcements soon.  We do want to ensure that everyone who needs our help can continue to get it.

Newsletter 4-6

Volume 4 Issue 6 December 2020

In this Issue:
Summing up 2020
Group Sessions
Group Zoom Sessions
Digital Mentor Training
Zoom training and hosting
Moving into 2021

Download as a PDF LC Newsletter Vol 4 Iss 6

Drop in Group Sessions
When Living Connected was created, our services followed the model of groups sessions that we started with residents of Sarah Claydon in Milton and the Basin View Mason Village. Those experiences taught us the value of helping elders with problems they were encountering in using their own devices, learning to do new activities, or even deciding on buying a new device.  Our research showed that the seniors were using digital technology to remain independent, keep connected to family and do interesting activities to add meaning to their lives. In 2018 we were fortunate to receive funding through the Federal Government supported Be Connected program. This was on the basis that we offer all our services for free. 

Home Visits
In 2019 Be Connected funded us to develop a home visit service for those who could not get to group sessions. These were popular but labour intensive, requiring more administration and local team members. We stopped these when COVID struck but in the last 2 months, have been able to resume some group and home visit services.

Group Zoom Sessions
When all face-to-face services stopped in March this year, we setup services online.  We found that using Zoom breakout rooms and share screens we could put individual mentor and learner together in a way that was similar to our face-to-face services. This did not suit everyone, but we have been able to reach out to those elders isolated by distance or circumstance. We hope to continue this online service in parallel to face-to-face ones next year.

Digital Mentors Training
We have now completed 3 successful offerings of our Young Mentors Program, delivering online digital-mentors training to high school students. We hope to continue this type of online digital mentor training to people of all ages in outer regional area where we hope to deliver Living Connected service in 2021.

Zoom training and hosting
This year we received State Government funding from the Combatting Social Isolation for Seniors during COVID-19 Grant Program. This funded a program to help individuals and groups run Zoom Meetings and Webinars for all sorts of different reasons. Stories of typical things we did can be found on our website at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bCqZ2FAfh0NKaGxQJo87k_2GvPtCC2V5/view?usp=sharing
With our help this year,  many elders have found out why, how and when to meet online.

Moving into 2021
We have learned this year how important it is to ensure that all members of society are digitally included, particular our elders who often become more isolate as they age. This recognition has meant more attention and support for Living Connected, which has been most gratifying for us. We plan to continue to expand our reach and our services as needed. Our main lesson from this year is just how quickly things can change and we are ready to adapt to whatever 2021 brings.

Newsletter 4-5

Volume 4, Issue 5 August, 2020

In this Issue:
Seeing out 2020
Group Zoom Sessions
Young Mentors Update
Digital Mentor Training
Resuming Face to Face

Download as a PDF LC Newsletter Vol 4 Iss 5

Seeing out 2020
We are now moving into Spring, on the run down to Summer and the end of the year. Many people are struggling to hold many of the functions that usually occur at this time of year. One of the Living Connected services we now provide, is to run Zoom sessions for others or to teach others how to run Zoom meetings themselves. These could range from a small family get together to an awards ceremony for a much large group. We don’t charge for this service so if you know anyone wanting help in this area, please put them in touch with us.\

Illawarra Women in Business Award
It is rewarding when your efforts are recognised, and this reflects on the great work of our whole team. Helen Hasan, founder of Living Connected, has been awarded Highly Commended in this year’s IWIB Illawarra Business Women’s Awards, under the category of IWIB Outstanding Commitment to the Community Award 2020. This award recognizes Illawarra women who are committed to making a difference in our local community, through their charitable endeavours and voluntary commitment.

Group Zoom Sessions
At Living Connected we continue to enjoy the learning and friendly discussion at our 5 weekly Zoom sessions. As well as helping people with all sorts of digital problems, we are encouraging seniors to use apps such as Zoom to stay connected with others online and welcome those who join us at these Zoom sessions just to have a chat.

Young Mentors Update– our first cohort graduates
As mentioned in our last Newsletter, the first online cohort of Young
Mentors completed their program and we are endeavouring to deliver
their certificates in person. Worrigee recipients, Jamie, Ashton and
Nathan Beattie are here at home with their proud Dad, as Helen Hasan
dropped in to present them with their certificates. We are now
planning to run the same program for several new groups of High
School students over the next few weeks.

Online Digital Mentor Training for Regional Areas
Inspired by the success of the online version of the Young Mentors Training program, we are now planning to hold a similar online program for anyone in outer regional areas south of Batemans Bay and into the Highland to the
west. This will start in September so anyone interest please contact us There will be no charge.

Resuming Face to Face Help
We are continuing our efforts to offer a wider range of face-to-face help for seniors under strict COVID19 protocols. These include a few group sessions held at the same time as one of our Zoom sessions so people see how Zoom works and be able to join us on Zoom if we have to stop face to face at any time. Here we are spaced for COVID and so learners can join the helpers in breakout rooms on the Zoom session they can see on the TV without sound interference.