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Full-time Report

The Global Pandemic

This photograph shows a group of people in the room together looking at a large screen which includes a number of people who are joining the even via Zoom.  This is to show how the project has continued to adapt to the covid pandemic by using technology to facilitate hybrid meeting.

The onslaught of a global pandemic threw a huge spanner in the works as plans to deliver training face-to-face had to be put on hold and replaced with online delivery via Zoom, no easy feat given most participants had little or no IT skills, with many also low in confidence in using online technology. We were, in effect, having to use IT to train people how to use IT.

At the start of lockdown, this presented a complex and ever-shifting logistical problem that the four partners worked successfully together as a team to resolve.

The approach was adapted so that in advance of the training course, all participants received their modern Lenovo tablet and a ‘bespoke’ hard copy manual – designed with their specific needs and circumstances taken into account.

The tablets were set up by the NIHE team and hand-delivered by Disability Health and Housing Officers (DHHOs) and Community Navigators, all strictly adhering to the Public Health Authority guidance current at the time.

The main partners, staff and our invaluable peer advocate volunteers all played a crucial role in assisting participants to join the online learning sessions, thus making the transition from face-to-face to online training as easy as possible.

While the Covid-19 pandemic threw up an unprecedented challenge, it conversely meant the project came at a time it was never more needed, and the final results show it exceeded its original targets by some margin despite the global health crisis, and a possible project catastrophe was turned into a triumph.