I help lead a small CBS class in Wales and during the spring and summer lock-down months was faced with the prospect of our little group of older persons grinding to a halt! The class has been meeting  faithfully for a number of years and are very interactive and supportive of each other, eager to study, learn and grow together. There were some reservations when we initially floated the idea of transferring onto Zoom and it took a little persuasion at first. But gradually, one by one, we encouraged and helped each member overcome their fears. We made sure they understood the processes required and felt reassured as to the safety aspects of meeting online – we were always careful to use password protection. They quickly became adept at logging on and offering helpful suggestions to one another when there were the occasional issues with sound or video! We would telephone each class member and help them set up Zoom, explaining step by step until they felt confident to have a go. I even visited one class member at her home armed with a broom handle, a bag for life and plenty of hand gel and antibacterial spray to ensure we stayed 2 meters apart and the phone was cleaned as it passed between us in the bag! Our class has continued to meet every week and we all agree it has been a source of great comfort and companionship during these very difficult months. I moved away from Wales in June and until very recently was able to remain part of the class, thanks to Zoom. I have every confidence this class will continue to bless and be blessed until the time comes when they can all meet up together again! If you are part of a class that meets online and haven’t yet joined, can I encourage you to do so? Or perhaps your class hasn’t yet made the transition to Zoom? Maybe have a chat with your class leaders – the CBS Regional Coordinators would be more than willing to help get you started. Zoom CBS classes are a great way to retain a sense of normality during these far from normal times so think about whether it’s right for you and give it a go. You might just surprise yourself!

Dinah Ball, Regional Coordinator for North West England