"Club Survival Pack" - Meeting while dealing with isolation
These last few weeks of living in isolation has presented many challenges to us all. We know that this has been tough for many and so IWNZ took the opportunity to do a Health Check of Clubs to help assess the impact of isolation on the connectivity, action and friendship of Inner Wheel Clubs and Members across NZ.
The results have been encouraging and we were delighted with the responses, giving us an opportunity to create and share ideas to help Clubs to continue the active Friendship with a Purpose as Inner Wheel Clubs working in communities all across New Zealand.
With a very short time period to complete the survey it was encouraging to see that within 48 hours, 54 Members responded from 37 out of 49 Inner Wheel Clubs across NZ. Therefore a 75% club response rate.
Most Clubs are coping well and have made some contact to keep connected even while living in isolation in their individual bubbles. There are some Clubs however that obviously require some help. We hope that the following ideas and resources may be useful to them in order to move forward and try to connect and engage in Friendship with a Purpose through the following months of likely continued isolation.
Clubs are using a number of tools to help keep connected from online meetings, emails and phone calls. Other technologies that have been used include - Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Facetime, Zoom, Skype and Meet.
Inner Wheel is an organisation that has been inexistence for nearly 100 years. As Women of Action we are traditionally a very supportive and resilient group of women who care for others in our communities. Even through these difficult times we are gaining collective strength to support each other.
The three objectives of Inner Wheel - Friendship, Personal Service and International Understanding are at the forefront of how we will continue to develop and strengthen our community support.
- “Community” being from within our own Clubs - by keeping connected and strengthening our friendships.
- “Community” being the work we strive to do to support those in need, which can be strengthened through the actions we undertake at Club level and developed within our clubs to connect in friendship with a purpose.
The following suggestions have been gathered from the survey results as provided by members. The lists are by no means exhausted and you are encouraged to send further suggestions for inclusion to firstname.lastname@example.org
Taking Meetings Online
The list is endless. Why not try something new?
Holding an online, face to face meeting is a great way to connect and see each other. These virtual meetings can take many forms and are not just limited to Executive or Club meetings but can include...
- Small group catch ups for morning tea
- Evening drinks
- Club Birthday Parties
- Craft groups
- Book clubs
- Cooking classes
- Quiz events
- Shared meals
- BINGO night
- Cooking Competitions
- Talent Show
- Inter Club Debate
- Sewing Bee
- Walk ‘n Talk – without the Walk
- Inter Club meetings and activities
- Teach to knit classes for non knitters
* Please feel free to share your ideas for any other Online Club activity ideas.
How to meet online
For those of you new to the concept of online meetings – here is a guide to how to set up and use “Meet” a free tool for holding virtual meetings through Google. Google Meet is a secure and free site and of a format very similar to Zoom.
* IWNZ has now been registered as a Google Non Profit and has free access to Google Suite. More information will be coming to Clubs in the near future. You can start a Meet meeting using any google account. It may also be called "Hangout". These can be created from within your calendar settings.
How to keep those not online connected
It is vital to be aware that not all IW Members are able to get online or don’t have the same technology as others. So please help support others in your club to keep them updated. Once isolation restrictions relax then maybe a Member Buddy System can be implemented where a Member who is tech savvy can join a Member who has not been online to teach her or include her in an online meeting.
These Members may also be struggling with isolation and getting groceries and supplies. So maybe buddy up with them to offer support and make sure they are cared for with grocery deliveries or picking up medication(s) from pharmacies.
Many Clubs have either continued or instigated a phone tree to keep all Members in regular contact. This really helps to combat loneliness, while building connections with others in the Club.
Keep all Club Members updated
Don’t forget to keep your Club newsletters updated and share these with all Club Members.
Maybe include in Newsletters some of these ideas.
- Club Member interview
- Share a favourite recipe
- Funny memes or jokes
- Sharing poems
- Links to charities that you support
- Favourite books read, tv or films watched
- Members personal stories
- Share how we can support various charities
- Share news on projects the Club is working on
- Share knitting patterns
- Share your Covid-19 story
Did you know that IWNZ has a Facebook Page?
Link to IWNZ Facebook Page @InnerWheelNZ
On this page there are stories about Club activity and links to other Clubs and International Inner Wheel as well
Currently, there is a membership campaign running. Members are invited to send in a photo of themselves sharing a cuppa. Maybe you want to join the campaign by sending a photo to join the friendship and share a cuppa with Inner Wheel Members around the country and world.
International Inner Wheel is running a campaign #TogetherWeCanSaveLives. This campaign demonstrates how Clubs around the globe are women in action sharing service in their communities to help combat Covid-19.
Link to International Inner Wheel Facebook Page @InternationalInnerWheel
Maybe your District or Club have a Facebook Page, too.
Please share the link to the Inner Wheel NZ page, so that others can find you and “like” you.
Friendship with A Purpose – Keeping your Club activities purposeful during isolation:
Here is a list of possible activities, based on what some Clubs are already doing or ideas of what could be done, taken from the survey results.
- Working on “friend-raising", while we are unable to fundraise
- Online “food” competitions – e.g., a cookie baking competition
- Creating a Club Facebook Page
- Recorded online meeting/interview with Members around the country to build profiles of Inner Wheel Members
- Online cooking Classes
- "Where is this" photo competition
- Watching TED talks and sharing these or discussing findings in group chats/online meet ups
- Craft/quilting exhibition/competition – to be judged once we can meet again
- Shared baking and books with others
- Offering support to other IW Members of other Clubs who are “at risk” and need some help with getting some errands done, shopping delivered etc
- Supplying wool and crafting supplies to those who can use them to help with their knitting projects they do for charity
- Service projects could be done by online meetings with Members doing specific things towards a project in their own homes ready to be combined when isolation finishes
- As soon as clothing shops are open for business, Members will be purchasing children's winter pyjamas for backpacks given to children going to foster care
- Planning for future projects such as fashion parade and golf day
- Donate Your Commute - we have not been using our cars for over a month, so donating a tank of fuel to Club account
- Collect our unused morning coffee/ tea money not used over the lock down period and forward the money raised to a charity
- Donate to a special Club birthday fund for Foodbank
- Donated online to Shine (Women's Refuge)
- Donating money to club allocated charities
- Donating to Food Bank
- Members made donations to the local chemist to go towards the cost of delivering prescriptions to those who don't have online banking
- Knitting for Plunket
- Knitting for Middlemore Foundation, Neo Natal unit
- Knitters/crocheters/sewers are busy making garments, pillows and rugs for North Shore Hospital patients, the North Shore Hospital Neo Natal Unit and various Rest Homes
- Knitting for pregnancy and lower decile schools in local community
- Knitting for Neo Natal babies, fish n Chip jerseys, beanies and making woollen blankets into cot or bassinet size
- Knitting Peggy Squares to make blankets
- Knitting blankets for Australia Bush Fire Relief
- Knitting blankets for Neo Natal units
- Knitting teddy bears for the children's ward
- Knitting babies' hats for the Neo Natal unit at Christchurch Hospital
- We have been offered wool to knit for babies and children within our area this being a result of people having a clean out in lockdown, and they have heard we accept wool to turn into wearable things for mainly children
- Repurpose woollen blankets into cot or bassinet size with crochet edges
- Sewing silky pillows for cancer society
- Sewing wheat packs for Cancer Society
- One member is inviting others club members to help with cutting and sewing heart shape pillows for ladies recovering from breast cancer surgery
- Days for Girls Sewing
- Making beanies for people who have lost their hair due to cancer (Look Good Feel Better)
- Cutting out and making dressing gowns
- Scarves for Look Good Feel Better
- Wine tops for Kidney Kids
- Bread Tags for making Wheelchairs
- Bras for Operation Uplift
- Cleaning out wardrobes over Lockdown to donate bags, shoes and Clothing to Dress For Success
- Scrap Books for refugees
- Hygiene bags for women in need in Northland
- Toilet bags for women's refuge/hospital
- Create and send cards to essential workers, hospital/lab staff, thanking them for their service.
Get Involved – Helping Others
- Involved in the local relief food bank
- Volunteers in community efforts such as the food bank
- Supporting Hospice with food donations
- Sharing of fruit and baking, dropped at doorways
- Offered help to get groceries or pick up medication for members over 70 or to those at risk
Learning and Doing
- ANZAC Biscuit competition (could be any biscuit making competition)
- Online cooking classes
Once we move to less isolation restrictions
- Joining together for small face to face meetings
- Sharing Morning tea
- Walks in local areas while keeping social distancing
- Reorganising previously planned events such as lunches, birthday party, golf day, fashion parade