• Members need to be disciplined with their verbal inputs otherwise chaos reigns. They need to raise their hand when they wish to speak, and the chair needs to invite them to speak in turn.
In conclusion, preparation is vital, ensuring that agendas, minutes and relevant papers are issued well in advance of the meeting and that members have an opportunity to raise any points for clarification.
Pencaitland Community Council
"There's no question that had the events of 2020 and the COVID-19 lockdown taken place just a few years earlier, as a community Pencaitland and its counterparts would have been in a much more difficult place.
• It is also a good idea for people to mute their microphone when they are not speaking to cut down on background noise and feedback.
• There is also a “chat” facility, where people can post written comments during the meeting.
However, just a few years after the emergence of dial-up, then broadband and now high-speed always-on internet into people's homes, plus the ubiquity of smartphones amongst large numbers of all ages, it has meant that quickly and effectively communicating with each other has become significantly more efficient.
Whilst it is not evenly distributed, home and mobile internet access in 2020 is now sufficiently robust and resilient. It played a pivotal role in allowing disparate groups of concerned community members to establish contact and self-organise in anticipation of whatever issues might arise during the first wave of the pandemic. Through the use of social media platforms, Pencaitland was able to rally well over 200 volunteers organised into 13 discrete geographic clusters, each in turn containing a couple of named coordinators. It was all done online, all in a matter of 72 hours.
Mercifully our own community was over-prepared and under-utilised this time but, without question, had we not had access to these basic communication tools and techniques, the act of creating a resilience network in a matter of days would have been as good as impossible. "
Ralph Averbuch, Chair Pencaitland Community Council
North Berwick Management Committee
Are currently using Zoom for their monthly meetings. The meetings are a bit different than everyone sitting round the table. We have had a lot of trial and error i.e. lots of people trying to contribute at the same time. However we now all mute our mics and wave if we want to contribute. They have found the handy thing of recording the conversation which makes things much easier when it comes to recording the minutes of the meeting. So although there are some cons there are also pros to using this technology for community groups.
Platforms to help your group collaborate online:
Schedule calls for work, friends, or family. Also, only the host needs an account, making it easy to get set up and started.
A tool for online meetings, training and other communication
A really useful guide to Zoom: Etiquette and Security
A communication and collaboration platform that combines chat, video meetings, file storage (including collaboration on files)
For communication and collaboration
Is a multi-functional communication app for your mobile phone
. As long as you and other people you know have the app, you can use it to exchange text messages, pictures, videos, audio messages, phone calls and create groups.
How to use WhatsApp
How to create a group
Scottish Tech Army – free service for community groups and charities who have a project idea they would like to implement to help with Covid-19. Services include: web and software development and social media. For further information see
Social Shifters Scotland - designed for community leaders, charities, and social enterprises. It features lots of free bitesize e-learning, inspirational videos, and downloadable resources:
- Digital services
This guide details the main topics you need to explore when you move your services to digital channels.
- Remote working
This guide will help you give your best support to employees and volunteers to empower them to do their best work from home.
- Digital inclusion
This guide will help any organisation delivering digital inclusion projects.
Learn My Way has free courses for you to learn digital skills to stay safe and connected.
Online Safety & Cyber Resilience
DigiSafe is a free step-by-step digital safeguarding guide written for charities designing new digital services or taking existing ones online.
Digital Resilience Framework A framework and tool for organisations, communities and groups to help people build resilience in their digital life.
Weekly Cyber Resilience Bulletin from the Scottish Government’s Cyber Resilience Unit for organisations and charities.
Cyber security advice for small and medium sized organisations
Training & Events
Digishift - Trustees
Specially for charity trustees, this DigiShift
will help you think about the big questions you and your board should be asking.
July 2020, 2 pm
The Curve is a series of free, 90 minute workshops for third sector organisations. These online workshops aim to build knowledge around best digital practices, raise awareness of digital tools and ultimately help increase impact with digital. Find out about upcoming workshops here
Lead Scotland, is a voluntary organisation set up to empower disabled young people and adults and carers across Scotland.
Lead Scotland are hosting classes on Zoom over the next few months to help people to use the internet confidently and safely during COVID-19. Everyone is welcome to attend.
We hope you have found this bulletin informative as we move in to a new digital age. Please look out for our upcoming Capacity Building Training Calendar (Autumn) through which we hope to deliver courses and information which will support the delivery of online meetings. This will be through Connected Communities or our partners. If you are interested in receiving information on the training calendar please email below.
Our next bulletin will focus on digital platforms for young people.
If you have any information for our next bulletin please email email@example.com