Virtual Hub – A Success Story
Following the COVID-19 Pandemic Shutdown in March 2020 all our face to face work with carers ceased on 17th March. Several subgroups were immediately set up to explore the options available to reach carers, one being an alternative to the Drop-in Cafes.
Following this, the subgroup identified that traditionally Drop-in Cafes fulfilled two main objectives:
- Provide carers with the opportunity to gain information from other services on key, themed topics – e.g. further education, power of attorney, health & wellbeing etc
- Provide the opportunity for peer support
- Issuing information to carers from services in Dundee, and information about the additional supports available through the COVID response
The team identified Facebook Live, via third-party streaming service Streamyard, as a suitable method of reaching carers, enabling them to interact and ask participants questions.
The first Facebook Live Broadcast took place on 15th April, only 4 weeks after the office was shut and all support moved to virtual/remote.
We continued our weekly episodes, where we had topic themed discussions, based on feedback from staff and carers of what information was needed. By Episode 2, we were inviting guests onto the broadcasts that were able to support the themed topic.
Our most popular topics included:
- Home-schooling for ASN
- Keeping Fit & Healthy in Lockdown
- Carers Grants
- Mental Health
To date, the series has been viewed over 6,500 times, and the number of live viewers averaged between 15 and 30 peak views at any one time.
As this was our first venture into live broadcasts to engage with carers, we were surprised and pleased by the high level of viewing figures. It is worth noting that views were slightly lower once lockdown began to ease, but overall figures engaging every week were higher than numbers who attended our traditional drop-in cafes in one month combined.
It made me feel like I am doing everything I can and I am not feeling guilty now, but I was before watching it. It was really helpful and to know that I am doing everything I can in a difficult situation.Feedback from parent carer on Home-schooling session
As we look to ease out of lockdown and reinstating groups in localities, we have identified that there is a need for extending this service for carers and plan to continue our live broadcasts soon. Keep following the news section of our website and social media platforms for future announcements.
Following is a list of partners of services that we would like to thank for being involved over the Virtual Hub series.
- Dundee City Council (Education (ASN, Community officers)
- Youth Scotland
- Social Security Scotland
- Dundee Health & Social Care Partnership (Mental Health & Learning Disability, Health Inequalities Service)
- NHS Tayside (Public Health Nutrition, Health Improvement Practitioner)
- Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action
- Dundee Thegither
- Joe FitzPatrick, Minister for Public Health
- Scottish Government (Carers Policy Branch)
- Young Carer Ambassador, Baldragon Academy
- Coalition of Carers in Scotland
- Alzheimer’s Scotland
- Vicky Carnegie (Local Fitness Instructor)
- Ali Henderson Yoga/Pilates Instructor
- Asha Martin, Mindfulness Practitioner
We would also like to thank everyone who watched our broadcasts, sent in questions and got involved with discussions during the live feed.