“If anyone had said a year ago that we’d be having our Christmas party online this year, we’d have laughed at them!” We couldn’t agree more with Maggie’s comment as 25 of us were assembled at last in front of our computers/iPads, the preliminaries over (-unmuting and readjusting cameras to reveal more than the top of folks’ heads or their ceilings).
Many of our older members (-in their 70’s and 80’s) would have protested back then that they would never have the confidence to use something like ‘Zoom’! Yet most are well used to it now after meeting up for the last few months with others in our weekly online ‘Chat groups’ that began back in April when our Tap into IT Clubs had to stop meeting due to the Covid-19 restrictions. This speaks volumes to me about the resourcefulness and readiness of some of the oldest members of our communities to face challenges, so necessary over the last few months. Also, it is testament to the skills of our amazing Helpers who’ve provided the patient guidance and encouragement to get to grips with this new and strange way of communicating. Thirdly, it has highlighted to me the lengths that we humans are ready to go to meet a basic need to interact with others and the tremendous mutual benefits we get from doing so.
“Fun”. That was a common response when I asked a few group members recently what they got out of the weekly online chats. It was in plentiful supply at the party certainly. Hilarity at the sight of us all, decked out in Christmas jumpers, hats and other headgear. “Chance to talk to others” was another reason, sharing interests, tips and learning new things. There were plenty of signs of that happening at the party too. Dan, one of our volunteer Helpers had gone to the lengths of wearing the national dress of his home country of Romania. Later he shared his screen to show a few of us a short Youtube video of other Romanian customs. Two of our younger Helpers, Samuel and Aaron, got us going with a quiz (-one of their group’s specialities) then it was time for a few groanworthy jokes in true Christmas cracker tradition. Given that there were 25 of us gathered this time, we split into smaller groups for chat with a mince pie or whatever, before rejoining everyone to find out who’d won the Christmas jumper (Tricia & Dan) and Christmas tree (Margaret) competitions. A really enjoyable afternoon in cheerful company and things to celebrate. Regardless of the gloomy news of further restrictions, it’s “starting to feel a lot like Christmas!”
If you – or someone you know – could do with a chance to meet up with others once a week and join in the chat, fun and learning, please contact us.