We have been funded by the Chief Scientist Office to carry out a study which will explore the challenges faced by frontline staff working as part of community-based organisations, projects or initiatives to support older people in Scotland. The project consists of three phases:
- Phase One: Individual Interviews and focus groups with staff and volunteers In phase one researchers will interview frontline staff and volunteers working in community based organisations to find out about their experiences of providing support to older people during the pandemic, how they are responding to the pandemic in order to continue supporting older people, and the effects that dealing with the pandemic is having on staff and volunteers. We are inviting people from across Scotland to take part in these interviews. Interviews are taking place either online or by telephone, and are being conducted by our team of researchers. We will also be conducting online focus groups with groups of staff and volunteers working within the same organisation.
- Phase Two: Action Learning Sets In phase 2, starting in July we will be inviting people who have taken part in phase one to join three Action Learning Sets. Action learning sets are groups, facilitated by members of the research teams, staff working within, different community-based organisations can work together to find solutions to problems introduced by COVID-19. We will hold three facilitated sessions with each group . In each group participants will be given the opportunity to come together, share problems each person is facing with each other, in order to develop their learning and share solutions, which they can then take into their own organisations.
- Phase Three: Sharing Solutions In phase 3 we will use the information provided by participants in phases 1 and 2, to create resources that can be used to support staff in community organisations as the pandemic continues. Resources will be shared via videos, podcasts, blogs and information leaflets, which we will make freely available to community organisations. All the materials we create will be shared via this website. which we will seek to share and publicise the results of the research so more organisations and policy makers can be aware of the needs of frontline staff.