Beginner’s Advice for using Zoom to keep groups meeting virtually

The Science Discussion Group has held a successful meeting with 16 attendees via Zoom this week and plans a full meeting with an external speaker next Monday. We therefore confirm that using Zoom to keep groups going is viable – and more than viable, it’s fun, and entirely coronavirus safe!

Your committee is also planning to meet tomorrow (2nd April) by Zoom, so we can confirm that is definitely a direction that other groups, especially discussion type groups, should consider trying out. To that end I have produced a beginner’s guide to using Zoom, starting with how to download the App to your computer and open a Zoom account, and progressing through how to find your Zoom friends and how to join a meeting of your group, through to how to host a meeting for your group. (Only one member of the group has to master the last item! – and it doesn’t have to be the group leader)

So click here for the Getting going with Zoom guide, and let me know how you get on with it – I’ll add your group’s name to the list below. If you get stuck and need some advice get in touch.

Groups successfully using Zoom for meetings so far:

  • Science Discussion Group
  • Crossword Puzzle Groups
  • Chichester U3A Committee

Webmaster

As you all know advice on corona-virus is changing daily and this page will now concentrate on what changes are taking place in Chichester U3A itself. Here are the steps your committee are taking:

  • The Monthly Meetings are suspended with immediate effect (but see next item).
  • We are planning to run the AGM on 21st May as a Zoom virtual meeting. If you wish to attend you will need to download Zoom onto your computer (see above for how to do this). We will be able to have 100 members attend this internet meeting, and live voting will be possible. Members unwilling or unable to attend the Zoom meeting will be able to cast their votes in advance by proxy. Here is the timetable:
    • We need nominations for the committee roles by 16th April
    • All papers and proxy voting forms will be distributed by 30th April
    • The deadline for returning proxy voting forms will be 14th May.
  • Coffee Mornings are suspended with immediate effect.
  • We cannot recommend that indoor groups continue to hold physical meetings but discussion groups could explore the possibility of holding virtual meetings using conferencing software such Skype or Zoom.
  • The committee regrets it cannot support the continuation of outdoor groups meeting as the requirement for 2 metres of separation is unlikely to be maintained
  • All groups are encouraged to look for innovative safe ways to continue in some form within the government guidelines
  • Trips and Outings: Fenella is so sorry to have to cancel the Watts Gallery outing and will not be making any new arrangements for now. But we do have the re-booked trip to Mottisfont arranged for Monday 15th June. We cannot say at this moment whether it will be possible for this trip to go ahead but if you would be interested in going to Mottisfont in June, please save the date.
  • The Quiz on 24th March has been cancelled No more quiz dates are planned at present.
  • Sailing events in April will go ahead (pending further advice). Future sailing dates will be under review.

Best official sources of corona-virus information

The official NHS website is very helpful with specific advice for travellers and the answers to a number of frequently asked questions.

And the government’s official advice

Some simple advice copied from some of the above references

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.

Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.

Click here for NHS advice about staying at home

What to do if you need medical help or advice

Urgent advice:Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Click here to use the 111 online coronavirus service

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

And hygiene advice remains important:

Do:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds.
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work.
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Don’t:

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean