Our virtual group values are that:
- We are friendly and supportive
- We respect each other
- We can talk openly among ourselves and everyone is entitled to contribute
- We respect confidences as this enables a safe environment for open dialogue
Our virtual groups will be delivered through Zoom. Zoom is a video conferencing application that helps people stay connected.
Zoom can be accessed through a laptop or desktop computer, tablet or mobile phone.
For the best experience we suggest using a laptop or desktop computer.
You will need:
- Internet connection
- Webcam or mobile phone camera
Either download the Zoom App or use the Google Chrome Browser. We suggest that you use a headset or earbuds with a microphone. This will cut down on background noise. If you don't have these don't worry, you can still join in as long as your mobile phone, tablet or computer has speakers.
If you are using Zoom for the first time you can:
- Download the Zoom Application from your App store
- Download the Zoom Application from zoom.us/download or
- If you use the Google Chrome browser, you can access Zoom without downloading the App
If you are using Zoom for the first time, it's best to get everything setup in advance of the meeting.
Security and safeguarding
We understand you may have some concerns about the security of a virtual group.
Epilepsy Action has taken steps to make sure our virtual groups are as secure as possible:
- We have a dedicated Zoom account for all virtual group meetings
- We never publicly advertise the Zoom link for joining a meeting
- We have a waiting room function for all our group meetings. This means no one can enter the meeting automatically. They have to be admitted by the meeting host. If we don't recognise a person's name from our list of people registered for the group that person will not be admitted
- We do not allow any participant to share their screen in a group. This means no one can share information from their device with others at the meeting
- We do not allow any participants to record during a group
- We can mute or remove any participant from a group if necessary
If you have any concerns about attending our Zoom meetings please do reach out to us.
Joining an Epilepsy Action virtual group
The day before your group is due to take place, Epilepsy Action will send you a unique web link to use. You can use this link to access one of our Zoom meetings. The web link will look like this:
When you first join one of our sessions you will be directed to a Zoom Waiting Room. You will see a message that looks like this:
The waiting room feature in Zoom allows the host, our group facilitator, to make sure that only people who have registered for the group can join. When the group is ready to start they will let you into the group meeting.
Welcome and introduction
At the beginning of the session, our group facilitator will explain how the group will run and some of the Zoom functions that we will be using.
On entering the meeting all participants will be asked to mute themselves. We will also ask that all participants remain muted when they are not speaking. To mute yourself click on the microphone tab. Depending on which device you're using this will appear on different locations on your screen.
Our group facilitator can also mute participants during the meeting. If they decide to do this, they will let everyone know in advance. They might do this if there is a lot of background noise, or if they are concerned that people cannot hear them.
To see the names of everyone taking part in the group click on the icon labelled "Participants" at the bottom of your screen.
The list of participants will appear on the right of the screen.
Zoom has a number of different ways that you can view the people in the group. We recommend gallery view. Gallery view allows you to see all group participants at once.
To set your screen to gallery view click the icon in the upper-right corner of the Zoom window.
Raise your hand
Your group facilitator will support people to engage in the group. If you want to ask a question or make a contribution to the group discussion you can also let the group facilitator know by using the Zoom raise your hand function.
- Click on the icon labelled "Participants" at the bottom of your screen.
- At the bottom of the window on the right side of the screen, click the button labelled "raise hand." Your digital hand is now raised.
Polls on Zoom
During the group, we will be using Zoom's poll function to capture how participants feel the end of the session. The responses are anonymous. This is part of our evaluation process and will help us understand if you benefited from attending the group.
When the facilitator launches the poll a question screen will appear. You can select your answers and click on submit.
At the end of the session the Facilitator will close the meeting.
We really hope that you enjoy your Epilepsy Action virtual group meeting and look forward to meeting you.