Apr 272020

The Carron Valley Support Group have been given free use of an audio conference bridge during weekday evenings and all weekend during the virus situation. 

Bridge Booker – contact:

What is an audio conferencing bridge? 

It is a telephone system that allows groups of people to talk together. So three, four, five or even more people can all be together on the same phone call at the same time hearing what each person is saying and being able to speak with the group at the same time. 

Why would I need to use an audio conference bridge – I have Skype / Facetime / Zoom already? 

You probably don’t need to use the bridge – but who do you know who doesn’t have Skype / Facetime / Zoom who may find it useful to keep in touch with their friends and family? They probably still have a telephone landline, they may well have a mobile phone, that they use to keep in touch. 

So how could the conference bridge be useful? 

1) Do you meet regularly once a week or once a month with a couple of friends for a coffee in town? 

You can keep these meetings going – just provide your own coffee (&cake) in your house but dial into the bridge at a pre-arranged time and take half an hour or an hour for a chat. 

2) Do you want the whole family to sing happy birthday to granny in a big choir? 

Get someone in the family to be the “choir master”. Get the family ready to all be on the bridge at the same time and date – the choir master may wish to have a practice singing session using the bridge a day or two before – like any family gathering it could descend into chaos so its best to be organised. Pick a time that suits everybody and when you know granny is available for her birthday call. Gather the choir members on the bridge and then ask granny to dial the number to join the bridge. Do a countdown and then start the round of “Happy Birthday…” and then do individual best wishes in turn. 

3) I’m sure you can think of other examples – how about a game of virtual badminton? With some creative improvisation it should be possible. 

4) What about gathering all the far flung cousins from across the world together? If you can dial a United Kingdom Glasgow number you can be on the bridge. (Please be aware your cousins may have to pay call charges for dialing a UK number from Australia or Canada 

How do I access the bridge? 

Pick a date and time for your event 

Count how many people are going to dial in from their different locations Get in touch with the “Bridge Booker” who can confirm if we can accommodate the date/time and number of people you want at your event – or suggest an alternate selection of other dates and times that are available. The Bridge Booker will give you a Glasgow phone number and a six digit password which should be followed by the # character,  that you need to type into your phone when prompted – you will then be in the call. 

What else do I need to know? 

Because the bridge can be used by people dialing in rather than connecting via the internet it can be more reliable for voice calls. Sometimes the internet struggles and voice calls can be a bit distorted or stop-go. 

To make the most of the call make sure you do not leave any TVs or radios on in the background. Mobile phones near landline can cause noisy interference so move the mobile phones away – the further the better.  If possible move to a quiet room for the call, or ask people to be quiet during the call. If you have a mute button on your handset use it, this is particularly useful if there are a lot of people on the call and you are waiting your turn – remember to un-mute when you want to speak! Try and agree in advance on one individual being appointed to co-ordinate the call – they can stop it descending into noisy chaos. They should prompt each person in turn to make their contribution, and if there is silence when someone was asked to contribute ask them to double check they have un-muted.

If you enjoyed your call – why not book another catch up next week…..?

The Bridge Booker’s contact details are below.

 Posted by at 7:15 pm
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