During Lockdown we’ve been delighted to help senior members of our own congregation keep in touch by “Zooming” our Saturday coffee mornings. Once a little help to start was given by family members we have had the joy of seeing a couple of grandads meeting up on line each week, with a brew for some banter, just as they would have at church. We’re now training up to help more people go “on- line” safely, offering a 1-1 appointments basis in person, but socially distanced, using a big screen TV to guide you click by click.
The Community Foundation for Calderdale has supported the church with a grant from their “National Emergencies Team DCMS Big Night In Fund”, enabling us to buy examples of the most common types of digital device. This means we can probably match the device you are using or we can even let those without any equipment “experiment”, to see which device suits them best and “try before you buy”. We are also grateful to the Sowerby Bridge Ward Forum and the Diocese of Leeds Bishops Development Fund who have provided grant funding to make a one way flow through our building and meet best practice to be COVID secure. Peter Henry who heads up our social media team says “We are so grateful that local organisations are helping us both with improvements to physical access into the building and with equipment for those who are prevented from getting out and about to keep in touch on-line”.
We are teaming up with Memory Lane Café Calderdale, who recently received funding to buy Tablets for their members, and together we hope to equip and teach those who are digitally isolated to get the most out of the internet, especially if they have to shield due to COVID 19. Our first priority is to assist the members and carers connected to our organisations but we hope to widen this to anyone in our community wanting to brush up their skills by also joining the Calderdale Digital inclusion network. Rev Canon Angela Dick says “This year has been difficult for many people and although the news of a vaccine brings hope, the dark days of winter still stretch out for many weeks. Our theme this Christmas is “Comfort and Joy” and we’d love to help more people connect on line so they can enjoy seeing their family, even if they cannot meet in person.”
For more information, and to pre -register for a free appointment please go to our website www.christchurchsb.org.uk where you can also find details of our health and safety processes in the COVID-19 section of our website.
Steve Duncan, CEO of the Community Foundation for Calderdale commented, "We're delighted to have been able to fund this project as we are passionate about reducing isolation in the community. This programme is so important to teach vital skills and help our community feel connected."