Social media is a huge part of everyday life – both for the younger generation and increasingly their parents and grandparents. People who live in and visit our communities are no different, with smartphones and tablets growing in popularity.
Learning to stay safe online
Of course, staying safe online is important. That’s why a group of 14 people from different Camphill Village Trust communities came together, to develop CVT Connect. This secure website allows members of our community to connect with each other, share ideas and celebrate their successes together.
After the first trial of CVT Connect, the working group held a consultation to iron out any problems. Now they’re planning a relaunch of the improved version, with new ‘easy to use’ features. For example, anyone who finds remembering letters difficult can choose a picture for a password. And if you forget, the ‘reset’ button will alert a local member of staff who can help you get back online.
Technology with a personal touch
What sets CVT Connect apart from other social networking sites is the combination of online and offline support. ‘We’re planning regular drop ins,’ says Phil, the project manager behind CVT Connect. ‘With tablets available in every community, every week, so that people can get online with the help of a staff member who will explain what it’s all about.’
Sparking new conversations
‘It’s safer than Facebook because only people from Camphill Village Trust can join, and means that everyone from different communities can chat and share news’ says Tom from The Croft, who’s a keen user of CVT Connect. ‘The drop in sessions are a great idea too – I’d tell everyone to give it a go!’
CVT Connect has been co-produced around four key functions
- Create a personal profile
This replicates a one-page profile as often used in peoples support plans or care files. Each user can choose who they wish to share their profile with including their friends and support workers.
- Share Ideas
Users can create a shared wall around a theme or idea. People can contribute ideas by placing a ‘postie’ with either a photo, symbol, emoji, type their thoughts or attach a document.
- Work together
People can make plans to co-produce projects together even if they are in different locations. There is also a resource section where people can browse and select from a constantly updated digital library.
- Keep Informed
The digital noticeboards ensure that people with disabilities have updated information that they need to enable them to make choices.