Virtual online groups
We have launched groups for both families and the youth group, using Zoom. The groups are designed to provide a space for families to meet and chat, as well as allowing the children to still undertake group activities and crafts. Details of the groups are sent by email and shared within our private online Facebook community.
Our youth group took place on 20th April and was attended by 9 teenagers aged between 13 and 18 years. We are working closely with Toni, our youth group leader from YiS, who helped to facilitate the group. As a group we talked about ‘connection’ and how we’re generally feeling. Feedback was positive and as a result we have scheduled in fortnightly sessions until June. This will be reviewed as time goes on with a view to offer further sessions if we are unable to offer our physical facilitated groups.
The usual Rainbow group, due to take place on 27th April was also replaced with an online session. 13 children attended to take part in a craft activity with Donna, which involved cutting out the shape of their hands and talking about and writing on the hands what they are thankful for. This included, their pets, computer consoles, their families, friends and food.
A further 11 parent /carers along with their children attended a breakout chat session where discussions covered topic such as Covid-19, key workers, difficulties with encouraging children to undertake schoolwork and general discussion.
We drew faces to show how we were feeling and discussed feedback afterwards. Some of the children found it a little loud at times and this is because microphones pick up on lots of background noise. We will implement slight changes next time to help with these teething problems.
Overall we are happy that we have been able to connect with some of our beneficiaries in just one of the new services we have been able to implement. Our other services currently include our buddy programme, external mental health and wellbeing support, and our online facebook community.
Our plans to create an introductory online meeting for beneficiaries who are very new to our service and not yet had the opportunity to meet with us yet or attend our usual pre-covid sessions, are almost complete and we are midway through creating a family activity pack to be sent to our beneficiaries to complete over the coming weeks and months before our physical service is able to be resumed.
Thank you for continuing to support us through these difficult times. Your support means a great deal to us while we navigate our way through this unknown territory where our mission continues to be about supporting bereaved children and their families.