Online support meetings
In response to the Covid-19 emergency, we are now running online support meetings. These are structured but friendly and last for a maximum of two hours. They take place on a video platform called Zoom (more on this below). They are run by two trained facilitators who ensure the meetings are run smoothly and safely and that they adhere to our meeting ground rules.
Just like our physical meetings, our online meetings are relaxed and create a comfortable space where people suffering from mental distress can come and talk to others who share similar problems. The days and times of these meetings can be found here.
Connecting with Changes online is helping me to keep some normality in my weekly schedule. Today somebody said that they could feel a lot of empathy pouring out of their screen. That is how I feel. I still have a community”
As many of us are experiencing self-isolation, these online meetings are a chance to connect with others. To join you will need a computer, tablet or smartphone with video camera and speaker / headphones. You will also need a private, quiet space with good internet connection.
Everyone is welcome at our meetings, regardless of your gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, age, neurodiversity, disability status, citizenship, or any other aspect which makes you unique. You only need to be over 18 years old.
What happens at an online meeting?
If you attend one of our online meetings you can expect the following:
To be welcomed by the two facilitators running the meeting.
During the meeting, everybody in the group will be invited to speak in turn and share what is happening in their lives. You don’t have to speak if you don’t want to, you can simply listen. Generally people speak for about 10 minutes depending on the group size.
Half way through the meeting there will be a break for tea and coffee.
If there is time towards the end, we may spend 10-15 minutes discussing a theme around positive wellbeing.
Prepare your device at least 15 mins before the start of the meeting.
Paste the meeting link into your browser & hit return. You may be instructed to download the Zoom app. This is safe & usually works slightly better than the browser option.
You can also join without the invitation link by going to http://join.zoom.us and entering the Meeting ID provided.
You don’t need to create an account to join, but if you do we suggest registering your first name and initial (e.g. Tara R).
Once you have joined you’ll see a ‘waiting screen’. Make sure you’re comfy & have a cup of tea with you if you want one. The facilitator will start the meeting when ready.
You can download a pdf copy of these guidelines here.
You can mute/unmute your microphone (usually far left of screen)
We recommend Gallery View on a computer so you can see all other members at once. Speaker view can be quite confusing. On a computer this option is top right, on a phone swipe left to see other members.
You can chat with everyone or individuals (by typing). We ask that members only privately message each other during the break.
Joining for the first time
If you have attended a Changes Bristol support group in the past, you are already a member and can simply join a group by following the links in your weekly email.
If you’re new to Changes, welcome! You will need to join by filling in the new member form below. Once you have completed the form, look out for our ‘weekly links’ email which will be sent to your inbox every Friday at 6pm (don’t forget to check your spam folder!). This email will give you all the information you need to join our online groups straight away, or as soon as you’re ready. You’ll also receive an introductory call from one of our team to welcome you to Changes and answer any questions you might have.
All our meetings, physical or online are…
completely confidential – what is said in the meeting, stays in the meeting (exceptions to this rule can be found here)
free to attend; you don’t need to pay anything
open access; you can attend for as many meetings as you need or want to
no referral required & no formal diagnosis
adults only – you need to be over 18 years of age to attend
no advance booking needed – you can just log in on the day. All we ask is that you try to come on time and as far as possible stay for the whole meeting.
Barton Hill Settlement
41-43 Ducie Road