At Big Orange Heart we work towards focusing on the positives, looking for the good, in sometimes very dark and desperate circumstances.
Human connection is important.
“Often, our social connections fall by the wayside. But connecting with others is more important than you might think. Social connection can lower anxiety and depression, help us regulate our emotions, lead to higher self-esteem and empathy, and actually improve our immune systems.”CMHA
To support our charitable mission, we have always delivered in-person events to bring our communities together. This is to enable a reduction in the social isolation that can occur when working remotely. Of course, in this current climate in-person events are challenging to deliver, in a safe way.
Since April this year, a team of volunteers has been working on developing an online events platform with a simple mission; to build a safe environment that facilitates freedom of movement within a virtual event. This platform has been through many iterations and, thanks to the feedback from attendees, continues to evolve and improve.
Big Orange Heart has been delivering its own events through this platform for the past six months. And in a move to enable other remote working communities to come together, we opened up the platform to organisations that have a symbiosis with our mission to support and promote positive well-being and mental health within remote working communities.
We recently announced that PHP London would join the Big Orange Heart family to deliver their virtual events through the platform. Since then we have gone on to partner with other communities and today we’re very happy to feature Leeds PHP.
Interview with Hugh Noble, Leeds PHP organiser
We put some questions to Hugh Noble, one of the Leeds PHP organisers, and this is what he had to say:
Why did you decide to deliver Leeds PHP through the Big Orange Heart live events platform?
At the beginning of the lockdown, we decided to take our event online. For the first few events we used a combination of technologies to get a working live stream, but with mixed success. Connectivity issues and dropouts were always a problem and we never really got the transition between social elements and the main event right. When Mark, co-organiser of Leeds PHP, mentioned the BOH platform to me, the big selling points were the seamlessness of it from a presenter side and the social track. Combine that with the great work BOH do and the decision really was a no brainer.
How has the experience been for you as an event organiser and host?
The experience from an organiser point of view has been amazing. Dan’s hard work behind the scenes of the event makes the tech side super easy and takes away a lot of the stress involved in organising a remote event. This also results in a much more slick experience for an attendee than our previous solution.
Do you plan to deliver some form of virtual access to events when you return to in-person?
Attendees often requested streaming events (or at least uploading recordings). Without the equipment or know-how, I’d been reluctant to do it before, and I didn’t want to compromise the in-person events, but I definitely feel a lot more equipped for it now. Also, the accessibility of remote events means people who would struggle to attend an event in person can participate, which is certainly something I’m keen to keep going forwards.
If you are an event organiser and are interested in learning more about the Big Orange Heart Live Events platform, then reach out to the team and we can make it happen. The platform is offered free of charge for organisations that align with the Big Orange Heart mission.