Lisa & Johanna - Communications Team
Communicate, Connect, Celebrate: A Year of Inclusion!
Over the past year, we have continued our efforts of keeping everyone informed and engaged in what The Action Group is doing, both internally and externally.
It has always been our goal that we ensure all information is for everyone - making sure everything we put out is accessible, easy to understand, and easy to find. We have invested in ReciteMe, an interactive accessibility feature on our website, allowing people to independently get information, whatever their support need.
We listened to the people we support, and our staff, when they told us that they did not like receiving so many emails. It was difficult to find time to read through them, and difficult to find things that they were looking for. We thought we would try a web-based, live communication system to replace the many emails.
We launched a staff resource called ASC (Accessible Staff Communication). All our staff can access this from their work phones. ASC has all the information staff might need to access in one location, making it easier for them to get the right information, when they need it. We are currently working on our Community website, which will replace the weekly email community pack we sent to everyone we support. We hope this will be launched before the end of 2023.
We know there is still a lot to do, but we hope that sharing information in this way, which is more dynamic, up to date, and always accessible, is helping people to get the information they need. Whether it is sharing important updates, announcing new plans or projects, or simply spreading a little bit of positive news, we want to make sure we keep everyone connected.
It has been great to get back to a more normal year, after the isolation Covid caused for many of us. Hosting in-person events was top of our list this past year. It was wonderful to see so many people and their families enjoying themselves at our Zoo Family Day and Zoo Party, to have so many of us finally together in one place at the Staff Conference (June) and at our AGM (October). We also had a great time hosting our Digital Village Day (March) at the Prentice Centre, where we marked the end of our Digital Connections project.
The Digital Connections project may be over, but the legacy lives on, through our dedicated room at The Prentice Centre - our Community room. This room has been kitted out with accessible digital tech that people can come in and use at anytime the centre is open, plus a library of equipment that can be loaned out for you to take home. Come in and visit us one day!
We are still committed to increasing our staff numbers, and any promotion of The Action Group can help raise our profile really helps recruitment. As part of this plan, we sponsored Edinburgh South Community Football Club, and Autism United. We have had some great days out at match days, and we hope to see more and more Action Group people at the games during the next season!
We got a new Website!
Accessibility and inclusivity are crucial to communications. Last year, we launched our new website www.actiongroup.org.uk, featuring ReciteMe, the accessibility tool mentioned earlier. The Action Group has invested in making our website more accessible and user-friendly. If you visit the website now, you will be able to see a sneak peek of the new Community page that will launch soon!
We also launched our Instagram account - and have been quietly sharing stories, photos and videos there for a few months now. Our other social media pages continue to grow, our Facebook groups still ever popular and a wonderful way for people to stay connected.
… so with the same enthusiasm that we always have, we will continue to work every day to ensure that all people from The Action Group; those we support, their families and carers, and our staff, feel included, and well informed, of everything the organisation has to share.
Lisa Williamson (Development Manager) & Johanna Romero (Communications Officer)