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 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 4-4

Volume 4, Issue 4       June-July, 2020

In this Issue
Rethinking 2020
An Opportunity
Group Zoom Sessions
Young Mentors Update
Hosting Zoom Meetings
Resuming Face to Face

Download as a PDF LC Newsletter Vol 4 Iss 4

Rethinking 2020
Last Newsletter, we were confident that COVID19 was under control and more restrictions would be lifted. However, new outbreaks of the virus in communities on the NSW South Coast have put a dent in that confidence. We will certainly have to adjust to changing circumstances and levels of restrictions for longer than we thought. This will be tough for many, but does make us reconsider our priorities. At Living Connected we help seniors learn digital skills not for their own sake but to improve well-being and quality of life.  This is now more important than ever.

An Opportunity

FromTwitter

This image was posted on Twitter by a colleague and sums up a hope expressed by many community organisations like ours. Maybe in the old normal, our society suffered from too much afluenza among decision-makers who are too well-off to appreciate the plight of others. The COVID19 experience has shed a light on those for whom life is a struggle and rely on help to survive. Our leaders are showing a willingness to take advice from experts, put cooperation before competition and re-adjust their priorities. Let’s tell them we like it this way and maybe some of it will last. Communities are complex. Living Connected is based on research into wicked problems that have conflicting agendas and can only be reconciled by acting on the advice of experts, observing what happens, keep going with what works and changing what doesn’t.

Group Zoom Sessions
At Living Connected we are enjoying the learning and friendly discussion at our 5 weekly Zoom sessions. As well as help people with all sorts of digital problems, we teach them how to use apps such as Zoom to stay connected online. We also welcome those who join us at these Zoom sessions just to have a chat, particularly those in isolation or struggling to make sense of all that 2020 has thrown at us. So please contact us for any help using Zoom. Please also encourage others to come to any of the Zoom sessions wherever you are.

Young Mentors Update– our first cohort graduates
The 12 school students in the first online cohort of the Young Mentors Training has now completed the program and is receiving their certificates from the Australian eSafety Commission.  Local recipients Cooper, Hunter and Jordan received their certificates at iAccelerate. from Kim Leach, Helen Hasan and Alex Trauth-Goik. We are now planning to run the same program for a new group of High School students in a couple of weeks.

20200727_160906

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.  This will start in September so anyone interest please contact us. There will be no charge.

Resuming Face to Face Help
We are still offering some 1 on 1 face-to-face help for seniors under strict COVID19 protocols. Bookings only.

Newspaper 4-3

Volume 4, Issue 3       May, 2020

In this Issue:
Resuming Face to Face
Young  Mentors Program
makes a start Online
Virtual Group Sessions
Hosting Zoom Meetings
Recovery Help

Download as a PDF LC Newsletter Vol 4 Iss 3

Resuming Face to Face
Like many organisations, Living Connected is planning a tentative move to face to face sessions.  A first step will be by prior booking only, 1 on 1 with one of our helpers at iAccelerate on the Innovation Campus where we will have strict COVID 19 protocols which we will release soon.  We will be guided by the following
https://www.beconnectednetwork.org.au/coronavirus-and-your-organisation
We will continue our Zoom sessions as well and take any opportunity to teach people how to use Zoom so that they can get ongoing help wherever they are and whatever their circumstances. Ring or email for more information.

Young  Mentors Program makes a start Online
Early this year we had planned to run a Young Mentors Program in partnership with local high schools. This aims to train students to help members of the older generation but also learn from the seniors’ life experiences.  We had put this on hold when schools and aged care facilities closed. Now that we are running all our help sessions with seniors online, we decided that we could do the same with the Young Mentor
Young mentors 1

Young mentors 4

So we invited 12 school students (friends and family of Living Connected team members) to a meeting on Zoom together with a few members of the Living Connected Team. We invited PhD student Alex Trauth-Goik to engage us in discussion about how we all use the Internet. This was a great experience and we will meet once more to give students some practice at helping others on Zoom. In the school holidays, we will invite the young mentors help out at our regular Zoom sessions with seniors (see next item).

Virtual Group Sessions

Living Connected now has its own Zoom licenses. For the last few months we have replaced our many face to face Dropin sessions with 5 virtual Dropin sessions a week as follows: Monday 2:30pm based on Southern Illawarra groups; Wednesday 10am based on Wollongong groups; Thursday 1:30pm based on South Coast groups and 3pm based on Northern Illawarra groups; and Friday 10am based on Shoalhaven Groups Thursday. Anyone can come as long as they get the relevant Zoom Meeting ID from one of our emails or by contacting us We have just had our first attendee from north of Sydney.  With geography not a problem, we welcome anyone wanting individual help with computers, tablets or phones or who are somewhat isolated and just want some company.

Hosting Zoom Meetings for Clubs and other groups

It is now official that we have state government funding for this program.  See the details on their website at https://www.facs.nsw.gov.au/inclusion/seniors/overview/chapters/what-we-are-doing-under-the-strategy/combatting-social-isolation/successful-grant-recipients

Contact us if you have a club or groups that would like our help to run meetings online. There is no cost.

 Recovery Help

Living Connected has now delivered or posted over 30 laptops, 7 tablets, 2 wifi hubs and a printer to victims of bushfires together with isolation due to COVID19.  We still have more requests to fulfil to more worthy recipients.

 

Newspaper 4-2

Volume 4 Issue 2 April 2020

In this Issue:
Living Connected Online
One 0n One help
Virtual Group Sessions
Hosting Zoom Meeting
Recovery Help

Download as a PDF LC Newsletter Vol 4 Iss 2

Living Connected Online
Living Connected has a great team of willing helpers ready to deliver our online services. We aim to enable us to stay connected by helping seniors to make best use of their digital devices. Although getting started for beginners is a little harder, we believe it is worth persevering, as it is now more importance than ever to know how to keep in touch online. We are finding that if we can get to the point of sharing screens, it makes it easier to see what is happening and to solved the problems that our client bring to us. When we get together in groups on Zoom we have some interesting discussions and some fun as well

One on One Help
We still offer free 1-on-1 help for seniors with all levels of digital skills. If they are a real beginner, clients can contact us by phone or WhatsApp on 0409753808. If they have Skype, they can make Living Connected a contact with the account ID livingconnectednow@gmail.com People can call us using this Skype address whenever it shows the green dot. Phone if you need help with Skype.

Virtual Group Sessions
Pre-COVID19, Living Connected conducted weekly or fortnightly Dropin Sessions face to face. Helpers would be matched with those who dropped in for help. We now hold weekly Virtually Dropin Sessions on Zoom mostly at the times we held the face to face session. A few of our team are joining the Zoom meeting and we are already having some lively group catchups, We can also follow our practice of 1-on-1 help using Zoom breakout rooms. This seems to work well and not as difficult as you might think. See our Website for meeting times and contact us for details of how to join in.

Hosting Zoom Meetings for Clubs and other groups
In “normal” times, seniors thrive on regular social interactions in groups which can
no longer meet. Living Connected helps clubs, community groups and families to
continue to meet “virtually”. With our team members skilled up to run Zoom
meetings, Living Connected can provide assistance with the technical setup,
hosting engaging sessions and skilling up novice users so no-one misses out. We
do this by:
1) explaining to leaders of seniors’ clubs and groups why and how they should
continue to meet online;
(2) running trial sessions so they can see how it works;
(3) either teaching people how to use technology such as Zoom themselves, or
(4) hosting meetings for those who cannot host themselves;
(5) helping people to inform and engage members;
(6) providing resources and mentoring those members who need to learn the skills to join in.
Contact us if you have a club or groups that would like our help. There is no cost.
Recovery Help
As a follow up from the March Newsletter, we have now distributed 26 refurbished
computers with a few introductory lessons, to people who lost computers in the fires,
as well as to those need them to work