Tool Guideline

How can we engage in a time of social distancing?

Uploaded by RRI Tools on 24 April 2020
Last modified on 24 April 2020

Post written by Helen Craig (Public Engagement Manager – SLMS) bringing together the thoughts & experiences of the whole UCL engagement team

What does engagement mean in a time of social distancing? That’s the question we’ve been asking this week, as our team, along with so many others around the world, have been seeking to support each other and maintain the advised social distancing.

Public and community engagement is all about reaching outside our immediate environment– it’s about people, trust, and relationship-building and so much of it relies on face-to-face contact. Many of the people we support are working with communities who are most at risk during this outbreak. They support those experiencing health-inequalities, recovering from trauma, living in poverty, who are disabled, older or have poor mental health, and much more.

These communities and those who support them are pushed to their limits at times like these and we all want to continue to support these partners and their users. We’re personally aware of many projects where research and teaching engage with community partners are having to be dramatically re-thought due to the COVID-19 response.

But there is still real value in connecting. Public engagement does not need to be face-to-face – what it needs to be is open, honest, and responsive to your own and your partner’s needs. This will be an incredibly difficult time for many people, especially those in the Voluntary and Community, creative, freelance, and patient care sectors. So we’ve put together this list of advice and tips from our team to help you navigate your projects and be the support your partners need.

  1. Open up
  2. Be flexible
  3. Use your networks
  4. Use social media
  5. Be thoughtful in your tools
  6. Get informed
  7. Plan for the long-term

To read the full text (tips & advice) see here

The post also includes links with for further reading & advice


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