Covid-19 and self-isolation are creating uncertainties and many challenges, but for our Community Contacts team these are serving as opportunities to provide creative solutions for the people we support.

One of the main adaptations has been moving from face-to-face meetings to using video conferencing calls to communicate within the team, with the people they support and the third party networks that they collaborate with. The team initially found it challenging to find the right communication tool to connect with everyone, but Zoom seems to be the favourite.

In Argyll and Bute, the team succeeded in reaching out to peer support groups and realised the importance of encouraging the members to stay connected. Lockdown has meant that some of the members who fit into the shielding group feel very isolated, so Zoom calls have been a fundamental tool to stay in touch.

Shona, the Highlands community project manager said: ‘‘Self isolation has meant that there are changes happening very quickly and that leaves many gaps on how to quickly provide the right support and an efficient way to make things possible has been through the video calls."

By using Zoom, they have managed to reach out to share relevant information as well as offer support to those who are feeling isolated.

Ruth, the Argyll and Bute community project manager, added: “The calls aren’t always about being reactive, sometimes it is about listening and providing a space for the people we support to express their anxieties.”

The Zoom meetings are also a positive way to connect with the Community Team, and to have updates - not only for serious issues.

Ruth said: "Zoom calls have also been a fun way to build a team rapport.’’

They also hold weekly coffee meetings, and share light-hearted chats and laughter.