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Mid Surrey AA and Covid-19 – Meetings starting up

Mid Surrey AA and Covid-19

29 June 2020

Dear All,

The AA General Service Board and the General Service Office have issued information re how groups might approach resuming their face to face (F2F) meetings.  It includes 15 points to carefully consider.

Please read this through before resuming face to face meetings.

https://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/Members/Coronavirus-News

I would like to add:

As groups are autonomous, the specific guidelines from government and from their venues can be discussed, and plans can be made in their group conscience.

You can find government guidelines for England here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do-after-4-july#gatherings-public-spaces-and-activities

The meeting venue will decide how many attendees they can allow, within government guidelines.  A group may want to consider using a larger room or a larger venue.

A venue may request that: a one way system for entry and exit is used; that extra cleaning is required and/or that they may need to charge extra for cleaning.

Around Mid Surrey many venues are preparing to welcome AA groups back.  Some will take more time to plan carefully for this than other venues.

HYBRID MEETINGS

These are meetings that are both F2F and online at the same time

There will be AA members who cannot attend face to face meetings for health and other reasons.

For these members groups can consider combining online and face to face meetings.

 Ideas for “Hybrid” meetings. 

A laptop in the F2F meeting could access a mobile hotspot to continue online meeting access for those members who do not feel comfortable returning to physical meetings.  A loudspeaker system could be connected to laptop to allow meeting members to hear those only online.  An external microphone to be connected to laptop so online members can hear those physically present.

The online screen could be projected onto a screen at the meeting

This all needs  testing!

HYBRID GROUP

A group could opt for having both F2F and Online meetings – but separately.

 TRACK AND TRACE

We will need to keep a record of contact details of members who have attended face to face meetings – a name and telephone number (and email if offered).  If a member tests positive for corona virus then their recent contacts will be traced and advised how to proceed to protect themselves and their families and society as a whole.  A longer sober member of the group could take responsibility for keeping these records securely for 21 days after each meeting and then shredding them.

I have emailed a sample record sheet to GSR’s.

RISK ASSESSMENT

Your venue may conduct the risk assessment themselves or they may ask you to conduct one.  Your group may well have a member who is experienced in carrying out risk assessments.  I do have a sample risk assessment kindly provided by one of our members from Staines.  Let me know if you need this also.

Please remember to check our website www.aamidsurrey.org.uk regularly for information.  As face to face meetings resume, they will be listed under their usual tab.

Please update MSIG AND GSO with information re opening of F2F meetings, and any closure of online meetings.

Meeting details – email eclo@aamidsurrey.org.uk and cc. me.

Remember to read through the update from GSO (link above)

Please send me ideas and updates to share with other members as we learn and evolve.

Alice

Chair@aamidsurrey.org.uk   M: 07773 369081

MID SURREY INTERGROUP – SUGGESTIONS FOR ONLINE MEETINGS

There are many online AA meetings around. We refer only to those being hosted by our local groups. Other Intergroups and our national website have lists of further AA online meetings.

A Mid Surrey meeting was invaded by non- alcoholics last week and half the participants left as they found this extremely upsetting.

This is an evolving situation and this document will evolve so please check back.

PASSWORD Protect your AA meeting:

Zoom have now added an extra layer of security and every meeting has to have a password. We understand this is a difficult situation especially for newcomers. However, we wish to protect our members. Newcomers rely on us sharing the message now more than ever.

Since groups are autonomous, it will be up to them to decide on whether they want the password to be shown on the MSIG website www.aamidsurrey.org.uk. Zoom have now enforced passwords, so please submit the new details of your online meeting via the form HERE.

If your group conscience decides not to have your password shown publicly on the MSIG website, we suggest that regular group members are informed of the password and may then pass it on to known alcoholics and newcomers carefully. Newcomers and visitors can also ask for the password via the generic email address for the meeting.

Please ensure that your meeting has a regularly checked generic email contact available.  

ADMIN for MEETINGS

We suggest meetings use well-informed Admin/Host service members in addition to a Secretary.

WAITING ROOM

Zoom has the option to enable a ‘waiting room’ and the host can verify the attendees before allowing them into the meeting. Regular members can be authenticated, so that they won’t have to go through validation each time.

USE OF VIDEO

Some groups are requesting that all members use live video to participate in meetings to protect us all. However if this is not possible, your group conscience could suggest that the secretary and admin/host will ask those non – video participants to introduce themselves to the meeting.

There are many links available offering suggestions for online AA meetings from AA Intergroups around the globe. Here are a couple to have a look at.

ZOOM SAFTEY SETTING GUIDE
https://www.nyintergroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/NYIG_Zoom ProtectionGuide_040320.pdf

https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2019/12/04/hosts-admins-secure-zoom-meetingexperience/ zcid=1231&_ga=2.126329613.1448272335.1585485822- 550536262.1581260212

FINALLY
GSR’s- please get in contact with us to share any experience and suggestions you have for neighbouring groups which could be included in this document.

Karla – eclo@aamidsurrey.org.uk
Stef – secretary@aamidsurrey.org.uk
Catherine – vicechair@aamidsurrey.org.uk
Alice – chair@aamidsurrey.org.uk 07773 369081

Updated 05/04/20

Tradition 7 donations to Mid Surrey Intergroup

Please don’t send any more cheques to Ian, our MSIG Treasurer, for the time being as this poses health risks.

Groups can make their Tradition 7 contribution by bank transfer direct to Mid Surrey Intergroup (see bank details below).

Please identify your payment with your group number.

For the account of :

Mid Surrey Intergroup

Sort code: 40 08 13

Account number: 71118870

Each group can ask for donations in their online meetings.

For example by giving the group’s account details in the chat section of a Zoom meeting and/or via an attached WhatsApp group.

Mid Surrey AA and Covid -19

Please find enclosed documents with information about the current COVID-19 situation as it applies to AA in Mid Surrey.  We have also posted a document re setting up online groups.

The most important thing is to ask members to check the website for information.  Especially to check whether their face to face (F2F) meeting is on.

If it is not listed, then it is temporarily suspended

MSIG re COVID -19 18.03.20

https://alcoholics-anonymous.eu/suggestions-for-groups-moving-temporarily-online/

Suggestions for safer AA meetings – MSIG_COVID-19 16.03.20

While more of our members cannot attend meetings there is a phone list available for men and women who need another alcoholic to talk to.

Message or call me for these  contacts who are happy to talk.

The 0800 helpline will remain dedicated to newcomers looking for AA.

Have a read through and get in touch with any concerns/ideas/group news.

Alice N

E: chair@aamidsurrey.org.uk

M: 07773 369081

Mid Surrey AA and Covid -19

Please find enclosed two documents with information about the current COVID-19 situation as it applies to AA in Mid Surrey.

MSIG re COVID -19 16.03.20

Suggestions for safer AA meetings – MSIG_COVID-19 16.03.20

The situation is evolving fast and we aim to keep our website updated more than once daily.

Please check our website for meeting information – to date 3 meetings have closed..

While some of our members cannot attend meetings there  is a phone list available for men and women who need another alcoholic to talk to. Message or call me for these  contacts who are happy to talk.

The 0800 helpline will remain dedicated to newcomers looking for AA.

Have a read through and get in touch with any concerns/ideas/group news.

Alice N

E: chair@aamidsurrey.org.uk

M: 07773 369081