Despite Rotorua clubs not being to gather for regular meetings due to Covid-19 restrictions over recent months, this isn't stopping the dedicated members from staying connected.

Rotorua Camera Club president John Ford says normally the club meets once a month. It decided quite early in March to forgo its April meeting, and then Government brought in the restrictions.

As part of running the club, it has a Facebook page where members keep in touch and share photos.

John says just after lockdown came into effect, one of the club's senior members Meg Lipscombe, put on the club's Facebook page a challenge for members to take photos each day with a subject going through the letters of the alphabet.


"It caught on really quickly. Many of our members are retired and were stuck at home. We had out of 50 up to 30/35 posts a day of photos.

"Some were very artistic and I think almost all club members looked at some of the photos."

He says once they made their way through the alphabet the next challenge was going through the colours of the rainbow, and a period of photos of their experiences during lockdown.

At the moment, the club is working through old photos of places in New Zealand - also going through the alphabet.

"It's worked really well and I think the club's been more active in the last two months.

"I think clubs like us form companionship for people who may not often have a lot of contact.

"When they can have activities like the photo-a-day on Facebook it makes a big difference, but we can't be all online, you have to have that face-to-face aspect too."

Rotorua Creative Fibre president Sallie Hillman says their club kept in touch over lockdown through its newsletter, Facebook page and the odd phone calls to each other.


Some members had also been doing Zoom meetings.

She says the club has an average of 20 at their Tuesday meetings and 30 at their Thursday ones, so they could not meet yet under the current restrictions.

She says the members had still been creating, including shawls, cardigans, baby clothes and socks.

"It's important [to stay connected]. We've got elderly people who are on their own and they appreciate the contact, and it's just nice to see what everyone is doing still."

Rotorua Honey Bee Club founder and president Kim Poynter says the club has not been able to have their monthly meetings over the lockdown period, and its meetings are still impacted because they had more than 10 people attend.

They also had to delay the club's AGM. The club has about 120 families in its membership.

She says they have put extra effort into their newsletter to provide the information members would have learnt at the club meeting.

They have also given people the opportunity to email and call through with questions and queries that might have been asked at a meeting.

"People have been emailing and attaching photos of their hive."

Kim says the club is looking forward to being able to have its regular meetings again once restrictions lift more.

"Not everyone has the internet so hopefully we will be able to have more than 10 not too far away."