Dipping my toes in the water

Being new to Community Network I really wanted to get a clear idea of how we support isolated and lonely people using the telephone.  Outside of work I don’t really talk on the phone very much. The odd call to my mum and gramps and occasionally to make arrangements is as far as it goes. On the whole I tend to email, Facebook, tweet and Skype my friends and family.

Despite the technical revolution I can remember fondly my love of the phone as a teenager and how I wished I could get all my friends together on one line for a good old gossip after school.

With all this in mind I’ve been taking part the Community Network training for volunteers who want to facilitate telephone friendship groups for isolated people. In keeping with the topic the four hour training takes place on the phone.

As you can imagine facilitating any group via the telephone can be a challenge. The training has helped me to grasp some of skills and understanding needed to do this. This is a sample of some of the things I’ve learnt over the course of the four sessions:

  1. Facilitation is simply about making it easy for the group
  2. Everyone has something interesting to say and different experiences to share
  3. There is listening and there is “active listening”
  4. With some basic ground rules telephone groups can be an amazing way for people to interact, share views, debate and just have a chat.

If you would like to know more about becoming a volunteer telephone group facilitator for one of our projects or would like to know more about setting up telephone groups within your organisation please give our Social Inclusion Manager Chris Robertson a ring on 020 7923 5263 or email Christopher@community-network.org

Radio Interview

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