Community Chat was a silver lining of Covid 19
As Covid 19 and the challenges of 2020 started to emerge, I realised accountants and bookkeepers in practice needed a safe, supportive space to help them navigate the pandemic. A place to decompress, laugh, cry, drink tea and share stories. At 4 pm on 17th March, I launched Community Chat, a daily afternoon live-streamed zoom chat for the community. Three days before the Australian government shut our International borders on 20th March 2020.
Leading with kindness and compassion, every single weekday, if you needed us, we were there. I volunteered hundreds of hours to support the community through the onslaught of wrangling the Covid19 Tax Stimulus. I encouraged the community to support one another’s mental health and wellbeing, and over time, hundreds participated as viewers, panellists, and session facilitators. This Silver Lining grew into a life force that positively impacted and helped an astonishing number of people in our community. We were regularly joined by hundreds of accountants and bookkeepers from Australia and from as far away as England, Ireland, Malta, Nepal, and South Africa. Different tax stimulus, same overwhelm!
Friendships were made, virtual hugs were shared.
The Community Chats were live-streamed here: https://www.facebook.com/HeatherSmithAU/videos/ At the eight weeks mark, we had up to a thousand views per day. Many people contacted us to say that they found comfort in watching the live streams. It helps to know other people are feeling as swamped as each other. It helps us as a community to help other people when they are having a hard day.
I also encouraged people – to feel free to start their own smaller, more intimate group – and run it the way they want. People want to talk about different things – I’ve started the ball rolling, and it’s ok to break off and start something fresh.
If someone mentions something, they prefer not to be public – I can go back and delete the live videos. No problems.
To attend the Community Chat register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_uhXmE4-fQc6HvazSzkBjNg