Together Co’s approach to Covid-19 support up for national award

30th Sep 2020
Amy, one of Together Co's Covid-19 volunteers

The way that our services adapted to support clients and train up new volunteers during the Covid-19 lockdown has earned a nomination for ‘Best UK Public & Non-Profit Sector Project’ at the international Learning Technologies Awards. The winner will be announced early next year in a ceremony in London.

With help from our partners, selfie videos for the workplace specialists StoryTagger and corporate learning business Kineo, we were able to significantly change the way we delivered support to local people, while training up over 100 volunteers at speed on how to operate safely and effectively.

Before COVID-19, befriending was largely done face-to-face, but volunteers had to switch to providing social and emotional support and public health guidance via phone, as well as give practical help with shopping. The pandemic had caused a surge in demand for our services, with a year’s worth of referrals received in the first four months of 2020, as well more local volunteers coming forward to help.

Kineo introduced us to StoryTagger so that we could plan and self-film a series of videos covering all essential aspects of support in less than 48 hours. The videos were set up as a playlist on YouTube, accessible not only to our volunteers but also to loneliness charities across the UK. Kineo supported the videos with an interactive quiz and an e-learning platform to test that volunteers were support ready.

StoryTagger CEO, Cheryl Clemons said:

“Together Co were able to film important training content in a series of short, focused videos from the comfort of their homes without the need for a film crew, giving the charity a very personal and efficient way of inducting a huge portfolio of volunteers. The usual time spent on training was halved, while the number of trained volunteers tripled. Most importantly, volunteers were equipped to help isolated people faster and more safely. It would have taken trainers weeks to accomplish this face-to-face which wasn’t feasible in a crisis.”

As concerns about the current rise in recorded Covid infections and future lockdowns increase across the UK, we are now reassured that Together Co can manage operational changes and volunteer inductions through the continued use of StoryTagger and Kineo’s digital tools.

Emily Daniel, Operations Lead at Together Co, explains:

“We are incredibly grateful for the support given by our community during the Covid-19 crisis. As the situation changes, we are building on this kindness, working together to make sure no one is left behind this winter. Many people in the city are facing huge challenges, feeling alone, worried about money and other problems. Our digital transformation during lockdown means that we are now ready to respond more quickly and efficiently to an anticipated increase in demand for our services.”

The usual time spent on training was halved, while the number of trained volunteers tripled. Most importantly, volunteers were equipped to help isolated people faster and more safely. It would have taken trainers weeks to accomplish this face-to-face which wasn’t feasible in a crisis.

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© 2019 Together Collective a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England and Wales: Company No. 03895574, whose registered office is Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton BN1 1YD. Together Collective is a registered charity: Charity No. 1083390