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Video help during self-isolation

Hi, just a few words from me to highlight how useful video can be at these difficult times during the Coronavirus pandemic, particularly if loved ones or colleagues are self-isolating.

Communication is key at the moment in order to get food and medicines to those most vulnerable, as well as preventing loneliness and anxiety.

There are many apps that can be useful to keep communication and businesses running. I'm going to concentrate on a few very basic video apps and ideas. These may seem obvious tools for some of you, if they are then please share with others who don't have the same level of digital knowledge and help people get set up with the apps they need.

Video chats

A great way to still have face-to-face talks with people if you have a good internet connection.

These also have settings where you can add more people, so a few of you can chat together.

Probably the most popular is WhatsApp, so this is a good app to start with.

It may be a good time to create a WhatsApp group with your local neighbours.

To make a group video chat, start with the first person.

  • Tap Video Call - the icon in the top right corner

  • Once you've connected to the first person then tap the 'add participant' icon in the top right corner to connect to the third person

  • Repeat to add the fourth person if you wish

Facebook Messenger

You can add up to 50 people, but 6 will be shown.


Up to 31 people

Google Hangouts

Up to 150 people

Stay social

You can get creative with video chats! Why not organise video book clubs, coffee mornings or even cocktail evenings and parties! We need to stay connected and social in these crazy, surreal times.

Play dates

New parents will especially need social contact so why not try and give video a go for baby and toddler groups? New mums and dads can continue to ask questions, give advice and share experiences.

Children can take charge of the device and perhaps show their friends their favourite books and toys in their home. They may also want to sing, dance or put on shows for their friends or relatives!

Video and editing fun!

Children and I'm sure many adults don't need much encouragement to make and share silly videos.

There are plenty of easy video-editing apps available for smartphones now too such as:





We all need a good excuse to smile during these tough times so get creative and share videos to friends and relatives through the apps above, social media and email.


A great platform to create your own videos or be entertained by watching them. YouTube can easily be dismissed as a young person's platform but there are so many different types of videos available - such as educational guides, documentaries and tutorials for example.

Did you ever fancy mastering origami?

For those who can't go outside, YouTube has thousands of different exercise and wellbeing videos - use the search engine to find the best one for you. A few examples below.

Tai Chi

Home fitness training




The social media platform is a lot of fun for creative and silly videos.

The other major social media channels also have video options.

Please check National Online Safety's website for guides on all social media platforms.

Working from home

There are many video apps that are great for working from home for meetings, videoconferencing and webinars. Apps like Loom are great to use rather than to type out long emails.

These apps may also be effective for community groups, churches and charities to stay connected.






The NHS' YouTube Channel

These apps are less daunting than you think, most are quite straight-forward to use so give them a try! If you are digitally confident, please help others, if you can, to get less experienced people up and running.

Please also check with your local businesses, charities and organisations as many will be utilising digital to carry on their services.

Best wishes and stay safe

Karen x

Images from Unsplash - thanks to Chrstian Wiediger, Frank Mckenna, Mae Mu, Thomas Lefebvre, Gervyn Louis, Michael Fenton and Dane Wetton.

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