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Welcome to our third e-bulletin July 2020

Digitally Agile – Staying Connected in the Community

This bulletin will focus on creative and safe use of digital media to stay connected.   




As we enter the recovery phase from COVID-19 and reflect on the past few months one thing that has become common place is our daily use of digital communication and technology.  This only looks like it will continue therefore it seems sensible to consider how we continue to communicate in a safe and agile way.  This bulletin will focus on how groups connect and function digitally.  Our next bulletin will focus on digital platforms for young people.
Here are some examples of collaborative digital working across East Lothian from our Connected Communities teams and Community Centres

Sustaining Musselburgh
Has been set up by Musselburgh Area Partnership to bring different groups together to try and tidy up the town and rid ourselves of single use plastic, to try and tackle climate change and to create a better environment for the residents of Musselburgh, Wallyford and Whitecraig. We are working with East Lothian Council, Queen Margaret University, Love Musselburgh, Fisherrow Waterfront Group, Eskmuthe Rowing Club and local residents to help create a cleaner and safer community. We have begun a Facebook page, but will be looking for other ways of communicating with people.
For more information about the group please PM our FB page

Port Seton Centre Management Committee
Has met via Zoom in June for the first time. They discussed how groups are keeping in touch throughout the pandemic, what they could do to support community groups sustainability in the future and the forthcoming sports hall development. It was a learning opportunity for some of the committee members. They are planning to meet again mid July.

Dunbar and East Linton Area Partnership (DELAP)
Has held their first ever virtual area partnership meeting. Skilfully chaired by George Robertson, utilising Zoom technology, the meeting ensured that the local voice of community planning continued to be heard in these unprecedented times. Members made decisions on meeting local priorities, allocation of funding and monitoring of DELAP’s area plan. 
The technology does, however have some limitations. The free version of Zoom only allows meetings of maximum 40 minutes duration, except if the host has a paid subscription, (as in this case), and then there is no limit.  What contributes to holding a successful meeting?

• It takes a while to get everyone checked in and settled, so set a  check in time of about 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting.
• 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.
• 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.

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.
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.

Useful Information

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

Microsoft Teams
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:

Things to consider for compliance when holding digital meetings

A short presentation on the most recent guidance and information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is followed by some questions and answers.

Virtual AGMs for third sector organisations – technical tips for legal compliance

Virtual AGMs for third sector orgs update April 24th

Hints, tips and information for holding virtual meetings

Virtual meetings

Managing Risk & Misinformation -

SCVO and DigiShift Resources
SCVO have been supporting organisations to find new ways to deliver services to adapt to digital and remote working.  They have produced three new ‘How to’ guides which highlight best practice and case studies.
  • 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.
Digital Participation: it’s still for everyone
SCVO are helping people and organisations in Scotland develop their digital potential

DigiShift Zoom calls have also generated lots of interest and you can find all the related blog posts, case studies and DigiListen podcasts on the DigiShift section of the SCVO website, along with the full recordings of the main sessions.
The recordings of the themed DigiShift sessions for specific sectors are also available to watch on the SCVO You Tube channel.

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.
Thursday 2nd July 2020, 2 pm

The Curve
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.


What next?

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

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