1. Design a syllabus
Chayn’s trauma support course is based on Rockpool’s Sexual Violence Recovery toolkit and Woman’s Aid’s The Power to Change manual. Chayn adapted the content to work online and in a shorter time frame and added their own experience to make the content more relevant for a diverse and younger audience. They started by creating an introduction video to explain what the group and support is about.
2. Choose a platform to host the group
Chayn chose Telegram because it is discreet and they could protect volunteer and participant privacy by not showing names or phone numbers.
Because Telegram is unobtrusive, the group members do not get reminders to take part. Chayn is considering running another version of the course on Whatsapp for people who are no longer at risk.
3. Invite participants
The group can be joined from an invite link, which Chayn shared on their website and social media platforms. This link was also shared by several media outlets which featured Chayn in articles on the sector’s response to Covid-19. Some users in the group have also referred new users since launch.
4. Ask questions and have conversations
The trust between group members is an important part of an in-person support group. Chayn wanted to recreate this online, but not everyone would be able to speak freely, or join at the same time. To get around this, they ask a question as a prompt, and group members respond to a bot with their answers. They are then connected with a volunteer for a 1-1 conversation.
They used a survey to understand what situation group members are in: Can they recieve messages? What challenges are they facing? What time of day can they receive messages? By asking for a consensus on timing for new messages, Chayn established a schedule of 6-9pm GMT daily when messages would be sent within the channel, allowing at risk users to prepare for this.
Group members with specific concerns were recommended to reach out via the chatbot to discuss safety plans.
5. Respond and share resources
Chayn volunteers make videos which respond to the answers from group members and offer advice and tools. They also share specific outputs from the lessons with the rest of the group to recreate the feeling of taking this journey with other people e.g sketches of animals, self-care tips and favourite songs. When sharing resources, they make sure the journey for the user is natural and easy to follow. Chayn volunteers and the bot make it clear what group members are supposed to do at each step.
6. Ask for feedback
Chayn run a poll on Telegram at the end of each week and link to a short evaluation form.- Questions included in the evaluation form are: how useful did you find it, what was most useful, and what would you like to know more of.
As well as the feedback questions, they ask the group what else would be useful. As a result, they’ve done some sessions on Instagram live where volunteers answer questions sent in anonymously.
They also send a cat gif to celebrate the week’s achievement and keep people motivated.
7. Measure engagement
Chayn track as much as possible: how many people watch the videos, send messages, fill out feedback form, etc.
8. Hold a weekly review call
The team have a weekly call where they review the feedback from the week and talk about any issues. They use this to check in on individual conversations with people and to set up an evaluation approach and schedule.
- Tracking individual conversations with people
- Setting up evaluation schedule
- Deciding on what prompts to send in between the videos
9. Make improvements
Chayn use the feedback collected with the evaluation as a guide to create the content for the next week.
Many thanks to Chayn for contributing this recipe.
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