Now that we aren't able to meet for the techy teas any more there are quite a few people facing difficulties with their devices. These are not just the same old problems, but new ones, such as how to Zoom and get a microphone or camera working. So we've come up with a way of keeping in touch while distancing.
We are calling it Virtual Aid. It's like Mutual Aid, except that it is volunteers offering to help people with their IT queries remotely. In order to do this we will be using Whatsapp and Teamviewer to communicate with people, and, if necessary, control their computers remotely, with their permission, of course
Because of the security risks associated with calling people and obtaining access to their computers remotely, we won't be offering this service to complete strangers. We will either be speaking to existing Techy Tea club students, or we will get referrals from partner organisations who know us. Also, all the volunteers will be existing and well trusted volunteers of the Techy Tea clubs. It wouldn't be right to be encouraging strangers to give access to their laptops or mobile phones, even if our intentions are spotless.
Alongside helping people with problems and queries of the kind we are used to at the Techy Tea Clubs, we will be offering some additional ones that are relevant to the period of Lockdown:
- We can direct people to Zoom chat rooms and Skype groups for social interaction with local people.
- We can help people get set up on Pogo, which enables online games such as dominoes and monopoly to be played with friends remotely.
- We can help people get on Facebook, so they can view live streaming of their church service, if it has been provided.
- We can help people get on Youtube to view things they may find entertaining, including fitness classes and church services.
- We can find out where local services providing assistance for a range of things can be found, using the Lewisham Wellbeing Map's new Covid 19 site.
In some cases we may be able to source equipment for people who are isolated and don't have any. However this is dependent on what gets donated.
So far Lewisham Homes, the Lewisham Pensioners Forum, Lewisham Local and the Lewisham Irish Community Centre have expressed an interest in referring people to our service. Please get in touch if you would like to speak to one of us to find out how you could benefit.