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Keeping connected during lockdown using video calling

Keeping in touch with family, friends and other loved ones makes us feel connected and helps with feelings of loneliness. And while the measures the Government has currently put in place to help stop the spread of coronavirus make this more difficult to do, technology can help. Video calling can be a nicer way of chatting with others than just a phone call, because it lets you see the person you're talking to, and they see you. You can even have a group chat with several people.

These instructions cover two different types of video call, FaceTime (for Apple devices) and Zoom.

Remember: Do make sure you are connected to a wireless internet network (WiFi) before doing a video call. Video calling uses a lot of data and could result in additional charges from your mobile phone network if you are not connected to WiFi.

If anyone wants help to try out either of these processes please contact and provide your phone number.


Note these instructions are specifically for using FaceTime on an iPad to iPad or iPhone
Wi-Fi connection (Apple devices). They will not work for other kinds of phones or devices.

What is FaceTime? FaceTime is the Apple name for video calling. It is very easy if both parties have an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Facetime will already be installed on your phone or device, so you don't have to do anything.

Follow the instructions below to start a FaceTime chat on iPhone or iPad.

1. Go to Contacts and select the person you want to call.

2. There will be an option to use FaceTime. Click the symbol that looks like a camera to start video calling.

3. To end the call, just click the red phone icon (cross) as with any other call.


Many organisations and families and friends have been using Zoom during the lockdown to have virtual meetings or family and friend get togethers. You will all need to have a computer that has a web cam and a microphone.

Making a call/setting up a meeting

If you would like to set up the video calls yourself, you will first need to download Zoom to your computer. You can do this for free via Zoom's website. You need to sign up for a free account by using your email address. A second way is to use this link to sign in for a new account and that will take you through the set up process.

Note that you can have calls free for up to 40 minutes. If you want longer you will need to pay.

To start a call or meeting immediately, follow the instructions below. You are the host.

1. Open Zoom on your computer

2. Click 'new meeting' – the screen will now display the camera view of you

3. Click 'invite' which is to the right of the picture, at the bottom of the screen – a dialogue box will display

4. Select email and then default email and then (if more than one) the email address you wish to send the link from – the system will switch to your email with a message mostly completed including the link to the meeting

5. Enter the email addresses of those to be included on the call – so that they receive the link – and send the email
6. As the recipients receive the link and click it to join the meeting you will see them added to the list of participants on the call

Receiving a call/joining a meeting

You don't need to install anything to use these, it can all be done through your internet browser. The host of the meeting will send you an email which includes a link that is specific to your meeting. It will look like this:

1. To join the meeting just click on the link.
2. Click 'join from your browser' to join the video call.
3. To end the call, click the red phone icon or close the browser window or click Leave meeting.

Remember: Only click links from people you know and trust. It's always worth double checking with them that they have sent you a link.

Geoff Reader

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