During this time of uncertainty, we wanted to keep you updated with what we are doing to keep our services and the support we provide going.
As a staff team we were able to switch to working remotely fairly swiftly as we work on cloud-based systems and our internal communications was already set up for one staff member working remotely. Our service delivery was also moved online as we switched to homeworking.
We were very fortunate to have piloted an online young people group in 2019 as part of the Year of Young People, this meant we were able to switch all our face to face groups very quickly to online as the lockdown neared. We had the tools and resources already in place for this. We have since shared our learning and materials with Bipolar UK (England & Wales) to help them move their groups online.
Our Development officer Graeme identified and trained volunteers to deliver the online groups and they are now running for all of our 16 groups. We are running them at an increase rate of every 2 weeks rather than monthly due to demand and the increased need for support by our beneficiaries at this time. Many have had their NHS support cancelled.
We have received very positive feedback:
“I found the last meeting really helpful and would certainly be up for two meetings a month. Thanks for organising these. Such a great support for us all.” H
“Just to say thank you for tonight’s meeting has made me feel much better.” JD
“The groups are doing a brilliant job in supporting people in the absence of statutory services.” Kathleen Taylor, Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland.
We are also navigating our way through new ways of supporting beneficiaries, volunteers and staff. Our Self-Management and Training Development Officer Emma Morrow is currently looking at taking modules of our self-management training online for people to access. She has also created various Zoom Lounge Videos for our members, social media followers and beneficiaries to support them at this challenging time. She has invited guests to come and speak about how they are coping and strategies they may have for people. She has had several guests including Professor Danny Smith speaking about maintaining good sleep hygiene and our Ambassadors Gail Porter and Jamie Stewart sharing their lived experience and what they are doing.
We have also increased our social media presence and are looking at other ways to support are members such as a peer-led helpline. Staff have in the meantime contacted all members individually by phone or email. We have set up a weekly drop in coffee chat via zoom. We scheduled a Nutrition and Mental Health online workshop and our Lothian group is looking at extend these to include gardening, crafting and/ or chair exercise.
If you need to get in contact with us you can email or phone 0141 560 2050.
The Team at Bipolar Scotland