Ask any ringer now what they miss most about ringing and they will say the social side of ringing. So keep in touch, trying as many different ways as possible to do it. Not everyone enjoys virtual ringing, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t missing ringing, their ringing friends, or aren't keen to return. Don't underestimate how important just talking to someone can be for motivating them to return to ringing when the pandemic is over. In the words of one lapsed ringer:
“If someone from the tower had stayed in touch, I would deffo have started again sooner rather than leave a 17 year gap.”
Some people and bands have embraced online ringing, others are using virtual tools and platforms to just talk. Some, especially those working from home, are suffering from Zoom-fatigue. Some people are a bit scared of technology or embarrassing themselves in front of others and will embrace it with a bit of encouragement. A one-on-one session about how to use Zoom or setting up WhatsApp on a smartphone might be all that's required to get someone involved with the rest of the band. Others just don't get the virtual world at all – the occasional phone call, email or walk in the park (when allowed) are all ways of maintaining contact and the social side of ringing. You can:
There are some handy YouTube videos about setting up and using Zoom which might help some people get started.
Why not find out what's happening in the wider ringing community? Social media, a major part of modern society anyway, is
playing a not insignificant part in the current climate.
YouTube, blogs and podcasts are all ways of finding out what's happening and what people are thinking.
We all miss real ringing so use all possible opportunities to keep on physically ringing – be it tower bells, Ellacombe chimes or handbells. Try and involve everyone; the name of the game is inclusion and involvement not the best striking or ringing the hardest method. Even very new ringers can chime a bell for Sunday service or ring a tune on handbells.
Which virtual platform or app can I use to communicate with other ringers?
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