Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Wednesday 11 November 2020

Brighton Covid Loneliness Project Pioneers Up For National Award As Charity Puts Out Call For Local Volunteers

Two Brighton-born digital companies are celebrating a joint nomination for a national award in recognition of their pioneering support for local loneliness charity, TogetherCo during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Selfie videos for the workplace specialists StoryTagger and corporate learning business Kineo are in the running for winning the Best UK Public & Non-Profit Sector project award at the international Learning Technologies Awards in London early next year, alongside a prestigious shortlist that includes the Royal College of Anaesthetics and the UK's College of Policing.

StoryTagger and Kineo came together during lockdown to help Together Co scale up its befriending service for vulnerable people in Brighton & Hove, by offering free access to their technology platforms and know-how.

Together Co works with a wide range of volunteers, aged 14-80, who spare an hour or more a week to support people struggling with social isolation and loneliness.

The COVID-19 pandemic had caused a surge in demand for the charity's services, with a year's worth of referrals received in the first four months of 2020, as well as a surge in volunteers. 

As the charity was restricted to telephone befriending and facing a high volume of doorstep deliveries, it needed to significantly change the way it delivered support to local people, while training up over one-hundred volunteers at speed on how to operate safely and effectively.

Getting new volunteers up-and-running via 1-2-1 web or phone calls was too time-consuming in a crisis, and attempts to deliver training via Zoom were unsuccessful - synchronising timings was difficult and many volunteers missed their slots.

Emily Daniel, Operations Lead at Together Co, explained:

"Our volunteers make a huge difference to people experiencing severe isolation in Brighton & Hove. 

"With the pandemic heaping extra pressure on the most vulnerable, we needed to recruit and train a huge number of new volunteers fast. 

"We not only had to change the way we trained our volunteers, but the way we provided support to isolated people. 

"Before COVID-19, befriending was largely done face-to-face, but volunteers had to switch to providing social and emotional support and public health guidance via phone, as well as practical help with shopping. Kineo and StoryTagger helped us to make this urgent operational shift."

Kineo introduced Together Co to StoryTagger, enabling the charity to plan and self-film a series of videos covering all essential aspects of support in less than 48 hours. 

The videos were set up as a playlist on YouTube, accessible not only to Together Co's volunteers but also to loneliness charities across the UK. 

Kineo supported the videos with an interactive quiz and an e-learning platform to test that volunteers were support ready.

StoryTagger CEO, Cheryl Clemons said:

"Together Co were able to film important training content in a series of short, focused videos from the comfort of their homes without the need for a film crew, giving the charity a very personal and efficient way of inducting a huge portfolio of volunteers. 

"The usual time spent on training was halved, while the number of trained volunteers tripled. 

"Most importantly, volunteers were equipped to help isolated people faster and more safely. 

It would have taken trainers weeks to accomplish this face-to-face which wasn't feasible in a crisis."

User-generated videos are a relatively new training tool here in the UK but Covid-19 has meant organisations having to rethink how they operate and train their people.

If you are feeling alone, worried about money or other issues, or are interested in becoming a Together Co volunteer, visit www.togetherco.org.uk

by: Mike Cobley




Share    


Menswear specialists scotts - who have been celebrating the cream of British music in recent weeks with their Under The Spotlight video series - have now turned to an up-and-coming Brighton musician.

If clients cannot come to you for a meeting during a pandemic, what are you going to do? Strategic creative agency Designate, based in Brighton, has come up with an inventive solution: take your mobile meeting space, complete with cocktails and DJ, on the road instead.
Credit Tom Martin

Out of the blue, and exactly one year to the day from the release of Enter Shikari's most recent and biggest album, Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible, comes the companion collection Moratorium (Broadcasts From The Interruption).

Having already inspired hundreds of children and young people to participate in music activities during lockdown through their Virtual Music Centre, Brighton Dome's music education service have launched a new series of online music courses, accessible for all ages and abilities.

Immigrants, Nitin Sawhney's new album and official sequel to seminal 1999 mercury nominated Beyond Skin, is a unique celebration of immigrants around the world. 
Credit Seymour Bird

After almost five months, 35 North Contemporary Fine Art, in Brighton, will be reopening to the public on Saturday 1st May. 

Arriving on the scene in summer 2019, the Brighton Comedy Garden enjoyed a hugely successful first year with thousands of comedy fans flocking to the festival.
Credit www.firstbase.com

Two of the buildings at Brighton’s newest neighbourhood Edward Street Quarter have reached their highest point in a major milestone for the development.

As Brighton and Hove bursts into life with festivals and events this May, arts organisation Carousel has much to celebrate. 

While Weird Years: Season 1 signalled an inspired rebirth for Brighton's electro/indie poppers Fickle Friends, its upcoming second instalment proves that it was no one season wonder. 

Two years ago Brighton Fringe was record-breaking with over 600,000 attendees, while 2020 saw the Festival explore digital performance for the first time. 

Brighton Early Music Festival has received a grant of more than £50,000 which will enable the Festival to stage a Summer Season of outdoor events in June, bringing live music back to Brighton audiences and providing much needed employment for freelance musicians and other artists. 

Restaurant owners and operators across the South East are being urged to join the Restaurant Collective, a new not-for-profit small business community spearheaded by TV chef Brian Turner with a mission to save the UK's independent restaurants.
Credit Amy Dagorne Craghill

Alt rock songsmiths, Bull will play The Green Door Store in Brighton, this September, following the release of their debut album Discover Effortless Living.

Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd