Chat with grannies

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“Facebook is where we support each other, share new ideas, get glimpses of the centres and keep up to date with what is happening,” says Liz.“Posts are monitored by the Core Team so that if someone is in distress or there is a technical problem, we can quickly respond.Following a long telephone conversation with Newcastle University, she then had to work out how to install Skype ahead of her first call to India.“I was so anxious, waiting at home with a reassuring cup of tea within reach,” Liz admits.“And suddenly there was Suneeta (Kulkarni), in a hotel ‘somewhere in India’ with her own mug of tea and a beaming smile – and that was me hooked!

We have noticed that this strategy is working and our retention rate is improving.” So what does the future hold for the Granny Cloud?

“It’s hard to say who will make a good granny so at least two of us view the video to give different perspectives.” The Core Team spends a lot of time interviewing potential Grannies over Skype to make sure everyone has an understanding of what is expected of them and also what to expect. All new recruits have to join the (secret) Facebook group and support is offered through email and Skype; buddying is arranged with an established granny; and initial sessions are recommended with ‘less challenging’ groups.

About 85% of those who send a video are interviewed and most of them sign up for an initial session. “Grannies on Facebook have infinite patience answering the same sort of question over and over again, and offering tips and insights,” says Liz.

Our admin team work tirelessly to manually check every profile registered on Senior Chatters for accuracy and authenticity.

That way you can be sure that the people you chat with are here for the very same reasons that you are.

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