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Virtual Hubs – What’s On?

In a survey we did earlier in September of participants we asked them “Of the support you receive from the Starfish Social Hubs which has been the most useful and why”. Here are some of the responses:

“Website is great to keep up to date and Virtual hubs and classes, giving me a purpose and something to look forward to”

“Just talking to some one who cares and understands my life i dont trust many people.”

“Going on social virtual hub meeting new people having a chat to them”

“The Virtual Social Hub has been the most useful support. “It’s been a game-changer”.

“Phone calls have helped but would like ability to use Zoom”

At the Virtual hub a few months ago, we asked everyone to share their views on what they think about the social hubs and now, virtual hubs. We were a teeny bit blown away by the very thoughtful responses we got to this question and thought we would share them with you here. If you know someone on the Connecting choices project who is lonely and socially isolated, show them some of these comments, they may be enough to encourage them to join us virtually, and then meet face to face once lockdown ends.

As the weeks go by we are able to offer more and more activities virtually to support people. If you glance at the Weekly Schedule to the right of this page you will see what is currently on offer. This will be regularly changed as more opportunities are developed.

Following discussions with hub members, we will be holding a Mutual Support session after each Virtual social hub on Wednesdays for those who are feeling abit anxious or upset. It will run on from the Hub and those needing it will stay signed in to chat with volunteers, staff and each other about their worries.

Due to the demand from participants we have started daily Breakfast Meetings 10 – 11.00 am each weekday. Hosted by one of our volunteers, its a place to come to chat if you are feeling abit lonely or need some moral support or signposting to some help or advice. We have noticed that this is very male dominated so are exploring with participants if they would prefer to have a separate one for the ladies and one for the gents. We will see what comes in terms of feedback.

Coming soon…

Spode are going to do some more Clay Workshops and we will be working with their amazing team to get some clay delivered to participants homes or Dudson Centre, in Hanley where our participants can gather to work the clay and have guidance online via Zoom from one of the ceramicists at Spode.

Citizens Advice Workshops – the first one was so successful that we are in talks with Citizens Advice to offer some more. As soon as they come back with some dates we will post them here and promote them via social media. They will be on Mondays and to give you an idea we have posted the topics asked for at the last workshop below. Remember, Sarah is a Benefits Expert and will support you with answers to questions around that but will signpost you to a more relevant team member for other items. Below are the topics covered in the last session and the advice Sarah gave enabled on of our participants to successfully argue his right not to be moved on to Universal Credit.

  • What are the key things I need to think about if I am moving house – does it affect my benefits, my support services, my bill paying and who do I need to notify if am moving from one council to another?
  • Is ESA linked to PIP?
  • How do I get a Social Services Assessment report to support a PIP application? Do I need to have one?
  • Talk to us about the things you would like to be covered in future sessions.

Please contact Starfish, Val or David to register an interest. If you are not part of the Social Hub membership but want to join the session speak to your Personal Coach and ask them to arrange this for you.

Music Anyone? We are currently working with a musician who is hoping to run some voice and instrumental workshops for us. You won’t need an actual instrument, just things you find around the home, and your voice doesn’t need to be perfect for the singing workshop either. We will all blend in together.

What People are saying about the virtual social hubs

“I just feel as if I have some time out of my head when I come to virtual hub – its like a break from my house and my thoughts”

“It was weird at first, seeing everyone on Zoom, and I felt very nervous, but now it just seems normal and I feel I can talk about stuff and everyone understands”

“The virtual hubs have really helped me to get through some tough stuff thats been happening with my grandparents – just being able to talk to everyone and have a laugh has been so good”

“It was a great idea to do memories of something from when you were young in the art session today – everyone talked about stuff that mattered to them – I liked that”

“I look forward to Wednesdays for the virtual hub almost as much as for the real hubs in Fenton. So glad you’ve been able to do these for us – but that doesn’t mean I don’t want the real hubs back too. ”

If you would like to find out a little more first visit this link to find out what the virtual social hubs are doing each week.

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