Friends From afar
Friends from afar Project:
We know people are experiencing feelings of uncertainty and we want to help. We are doing our part, and we ask you to do yours by staying home and keeping everyone safe, but we want you to know, you are not alone. Multiple community agencies have come together to coordinate a ‘Friends From Afar’ program.
We would like to offer new ways of reducing feelings of isolation by reaching out and connecting virtually during this time. Our idea is to provide senior individuals or groups with mentor groups or families. We will facilitate everything using video conferencing and phone calls. This is open to anyone who wants to connect while in isolation and we will make it really easy on you. If you do not have a laptop with a microphone and a camera, we can set up the phone call, but ideally, you will have a screen and a camera so we can do more. In the near future, we will be able to provide tablets to those who wish to participate but do not have access to these types of devices.
We will match you based on interests and technology available to use. If you have a group of seniors, we can read letters from the community and show handmade art. If you have small groups, we invite families to welcome them into their homes virtually, introducing themselves, their pets and participating in activities from afar. If you have a camera, we will record seniors reading stories and send them to children in isolation. We would love it if you or your seniors want to teach skills such as knitting or crocheting, tell stories of their childhood, or just want to make general conversation.
We will also be reaching out to families and youth to write letters or draw pictures for us to share, and let us know if they would like to be a part of chatting or receive recordings from seniors.
Certain activities, such as reading stories, can also be recorded and uploaded to Facebook or Youtube, either privately, or publicly for others to enjoy.
In order to facilitate this, we will use Zoom or google, which will require an email address from you to accept the appointment and a laptop, tablet, or smartphone with camera and microphone functions or a phone number (but it limits what we can do together). Grande Prairie Palliative Care has a program where the images and letters can be uploaded and sent directly to their clients and we will share between programs to help connect even more participants!
We will contact those who are interested so we can complete an intake process. This will allow us to match participants by interest, available technology, and desired outcomes.
The intake form can be found HERE if you would like to speed up the process.
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