1. Identify user requirements
Discuss servicer user and service provider requirements, both internally with team members and externally with service users, in order to identify the best platform for use.
2. Train staff and volunteers
Ensure that anyone responsible for setting up Zoom calls understands how to do so safely, and is aware of safeguarding issues.
3. Ensure accessibility
Not everyone has access to the same levels of education and technology. Before rolling out the service, ensure that all those receiving the service are in a position to access it.
Individually check each user has the skills and technology to make use of the service.
4. Make the decision
Having reviewed the service delivery options, decide whether going online is going to work.
Hold an internal meeting to discuss the requirements, pros and cons of the move, and agree to give online sessions a trial. Then hold a discussion with volunteers to ensure that they are all prepared for the change.
5. Check your policies
Ensure that your policies are up to date for the new service.
Review privacy, safeguarding, and volunteer policies to ensure that they are in keeping with the new way of working. Amendments should be made and approved by your Board of Trustees, prior to the new service becoming available.
6. Be flexible
Be aware of users’ expectations and environments, and be prepared to be flexible to accommodate changing needs.
7. Make it inviting
Online video calls often lack the personal touch – people who are not used to using such a platform may feel left out or ignored. Make sure that the staff or volunteers who are running the service are aware of users, encouraging everyone to take part and be active in the session.
8. Make it interesting
Offer participants the chance to have a go at something. If children are included in the sessions, make sure that any required items are available in advance, and instructions are clear and simple.
9. Get feedback and change if needed
Listen to the service users and providers: if something isn’t working for them, then consider making a change.
Working digitally does not suit everyone; it is very easy to alienate a service user or provider if concerns are not addressed.
Each week, offer people the chance to come forward, either in a group setting (if the dynamics of the group allow) or individually, and discuss any concerns or suggestions for improvement.
Many thanks to Home-Start Royston, Buntingford and South Cambridgeshire for contributing this recipe.
This recipe is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.
That means you are free to copy, redistribute, and build on the text of this recipe, but only for non-commercial purposes (if you want to use it for commercial purposes, get in touch with us at [email protected]). You must give credit to both Catalyst and Home-Start Royston, Buntingford and South Cambridgeshire and link back to this page. If you build on this recipe then you must share your version under this same licence.
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