A Shrewsbury based social group for adults with physical disabilities that meets twice a week for activities and trips are planning to use Social Media to attract more people to join them.
The group meets twice a week at the Mereside Community Hall in Shrewsbury, the gang come from as far as Oswestry, however the majority are more local. The activities that they get involved in vary from week to week but include craft activities such as pottery, botcher an indoor form of bowling and group trips including visits to the seaside.
The Group have apply named themselves the Muskerteers & Maidens (M&M) - All for one and one for all!
Some members of the gang already use Social Media with the support of their Personal Assistants, friends and family and realised the reach and potential it could have. M&M want to be able to engage with other like-minded people, who would benefit from what their group has to offer. That being friendship, a good laugh, a cup of tea and a biscuit with the added bonus of trips and activities to get involved in.
Get Shropshire Online were invited by the Preventative Services Team from Shropshire -Rural Community Council to support the group in the use of using the Internet safely. It was quite evident during these sessions that some members of the group were fairly IT savvy and wished to have a conversation about Facebook. Their idea being to create a Group Page to showcase the things they do.
Our first job has been to talk generally about Facebook and how it works and what would be the best setup for the group to manage. We then needed to make sure that enough members of the group had the skills to be able to administer the page, this skilling up also includes the Personal Assistants who support them.
During this period we discovered that some members had never had the inclination to sit at a computer before and experience what the Internet can do. However once we found a hook they were keen to look at more with support. M&M have their own laptop which can be used by all the group, however the members were keen to bring in their own equipment too, which was great! The only problem being that the building has no Wi-Fi and we have to rely on Dongles which can be a little problematic at times.
M&M are a very enthusiastic group of people and keen to get involved, hence an informal and completely unplanned IT group has been created and members of the group who know more are sharing their skills with other members, offering peer to peer support.
The group really enjoy the time they have to share pictures, gossip and talk about the past and their experiences. We aim to get a Mi-Fi gadget to empower the group as this will give them Wi-Fi and greater flexibility. At the moment they need us there with our Dongles, which is not great for the groups independence…plus this bit of kit sometimes lets us down!
We continue to work towards the Facebook page and give support to those members who need it. Watch this space because a M&M Page will be coming soon!