On Friday, 19th March we are celebrating our first anniversary of get2gether at home. Our community members are celebrating with a festival!
The festival will take place online – across Facebook and zoom platforms. This festival is to celebrate the resilience of our members and their talents. Despite the pandemic, people who got involved with our offering made new friends, had some fun, and even learned a few new skills.
Our Ambassadors have been chatting with a group of our member’s volunteers, who have been stepping forward and meeting weekly, to make the community space welcoming for everyone. Our volunteers are #BecomingVisible!
Their video will be kick-staring the festivities on the 19, March 2021, when we will mark 1 year since we responded to the Covid-19 pandemic. Here are their reflections of the last year, a sneak peek into some of their reflective conversations.
Have you found this year a challenge? Was getting to learn how to zoom a challenge?
Lauren: For me, it was a good challenge because I’ve been in the shielding category, if there was no zooms, I would feel like I was just stuck in my house on my own, but with zoom I sometimes feel like I’ve left the house I can see that many people. It’s been a massive learning curve for me and I’m really really enjoying it.
Mairi: I found it a fantastic challenge, it’s really helped me connect with other members and brought me closer to the community at get2gether at home.
Angela: As much as I spend a lot of time on my computer, I’d never used it much for social events. Zoom was just a foreign concept to me. It’s a wee bit of a challenge getting it set up but once it is it opens up a whole new world for me.
Sandy: It brought so much joy and light to my time at get2gether.
Stephan: Having to learn how to DJ through zoom and do things like sharing your sound, you just have to get on with these challenges and tackle them head-on. Find the best way to utilize the zoom platform, for me it’s all about connection.
Andrew: I think people can give more of themselves than they could when we were in person
How have you found the Monday planning Meeting and events? Have you been able to give more of yourself?
Sandy: It’s about having to adapt and made me grow as a person
Angela: I’ve been able to give a lot more of myself, of my time and my effort. Being immunocompromised I don’t get to leave the house so I’ve managed to participate in a lot more activities than I would have done.
Andrew: It’s more direct, in a good way. Somebody talks, that person is listened to. There’s more attention. Mairi’s talking ,everyone listens and we all listen to Mairi’s point of view. Sometimes in real life in a meeting where you’re sitting in a room, sometimes it doesn’t travel in that way
Mairi: Ironically I’ve done more and participated more for get2gether at home group and on zoom more than I ever did before. I’ve jumped on the bandwagon and rode this fantastic train onwards.
Have you learnt any new skills?
L: Hell yes! I’m a lot more digital. I didn’t know a lot about computers, I’ve learnt a lot about computers, I’ve learned that you can help so many people through a computer. I can do things I thought I couldn’t- and I was told I couldn’t. And that’s changed loads.
M: Be a littler bit quieter, more mindful of other people’s feelings
S: It’s brought us closer together and for everybody to work together
A: I only joined in November and already I’ve learned tons of new skills. From a personal point of view, learning to open up more and take the time to get to know people better
Mark: I learnt new computer skills, I learned how to go live on g2g at home, I learnt how to do messenger on the group
Katrina: I remember the first time I did my seated exercises on the group, making sure I pressed the right button! I’ve learned to set up group chats and create polls when I did Movie Monday.
S: Yes, definitely yes. And I’ve learnt to pas my skills onto members as digital ambassador.
Aaron: Omg, hell yes. Absolute loads. I’ve learned how to host zoom events, it’s been great. I have learned more about ‘me’ too and how to cope better in life.
How connected have you felt to other members of g2g at home and how has being online helped with that?
L: Meeting members online who I never would have met, who don’t normally come along to events. I feel like I’ve got a menu to select from, I have choices. I can decide what I want to do. For instance, seated exercises aren’t a time that suit me but I can go back and do them at a time that suits me. If it wasn’t there, if there wasn’t these other people responding or introducing themselves, I wonder where a lot of people would be.
S: In the long run it’s brought a lot of organisations together
M: I”m there for everybody else too, if they need a hand
K: I’ve felt less isolated and I’ve been able to socialise through members. When I’ve been doing events it’s been about keeping members’ spirits up
Angela: I’ve definitely felt more connected because previous to this I just didn’t have any social connections, limited family and friends, and I’ve made far more of an effort to get to know people and let them know me than I would have done in person.
Do you think when all this is over and when we go back to whatever normal is, do you think youll go back to just doing events in the community or would you like to keep events online?
Sandy: I would like to see both staying together because when lockdown is lifted I dont want everyone to disappear.
Andrew: It would be great to keep both, I’m hoping we can have a positive merge into the outside
M: Definitely both because there are people like myself who have low immunity. I feel when we’re online I”m motivated, I’ve been motivated to get up and because we’re on zoom, I make myself look presentable, not turning up in my pyjamas with a mohawk.
Angela: I don’t think it’s possible to have one or the other, I think the future of society is that things will have to work in tandem. There’s got to be, even a smaller scale, always an online presence. I think it would be silly to miss the opportunity to continue doing the great work we do online where we reach so many members. We’re a charity supporting individuals to pursue their dreams, get together and meet up, we’re doing exactly that…on zoom.
What are your hopes for the future?
Aaron: I can’t wait to get out of this bloody house. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone in person, going to my first ATIK and having my first ever pint. I hope we stay online too because we do loads more online.
Lauren: It’s giving us all opportunities, something to think about, something to do. ‘What could I do? To make a difference? To help. I am important! Someone sees that I have something that I can do? I can succeed at things? I can help? I’m actually a human being that is accepted! And I’m allowed to go live! Oh my god!
Angela: The hope for me is to get to the point where I can access some of the get2gether event’s in person
Sandy: It’s still trying to keep everyone connected and working together because everybody’s talented
Mairi: That the membership will grow and grow and that we can reach out to more people, more adults. The sky’s the limit!
Katrina: It’s been phenomenal. Get2gether at home has taken off by storm. I would hope for the future we keep building on this.
Stephan: There is something on each and every day, be it Monday movie club, be it the Naughty and Nice bakers, be it Sandy and his floorfillers on sHMU, be it Mystic Mairi, be it Mark going LIVE, Andrew doing his life drawing, there is something for everyone every day. My hope going forward is that we keep that in some capacity.