A Partnership that Is Good to Know

J.D. O’Gara
New Program by Medway Senior Center Available through Medway Cable Access
“Good to Know,” a new show produced by Medway Senior Center and Medway Cable Access, will bring important topics to the community.
Issue Date: 
July, 2018
Article Body: 

A partnership between the Medway Senior Center and Medway Cable Access is turning out to provide a lot of Medway residents with information that is good to know. In fact, “Good to Know,” the new cable program aired at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Medway channels 8 Comcast and Channel 36 Verizon focuses on topics relevant not only to seniors, but to the Medway community as a whole.
“Our goal is to connect our community with relevant resources and information, to show how diverse our senior center is, and to become more inclusive to everyone in the community,” says Kate Fennyery, Licensed Social Worker and Medway Senior Center Outreach Worker.
In mid-June, “Good to Know” filmed the Senior Center’s monthly “Coffee and Conversation with a Selectman,” which takes place the second Tuesday of each month and looks at topics relevant to all Medway residents. Past shows have focused on the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, and another focused on Compassionate Care Hospice.
The relationship between the Medway Senior Center and Medway Cable Access began a couple years ago, says Marcia Lombardo, Outreach worker for the senior center. “We had started an intergenerational veterans project that matches vets with high school students, and Cable Access came and did a little filming while it was going on. Then we got a student to film the actual event, and Medway Cable had it on their station. It went over really well and had a good turnout, and they’ve run it many times on cable.”
“That kind of started our relationship and got Barry Schneier and Amy Huff from Medway Cable thinking about how we can work together,” says Lombardo. “They started taping the lectures, and that’s what we’ve been doing on a regular basis.”
“Medway Cable Access has been fabulous, loaning us equipment, training us on how to use their equipment, creating a program for us and now they have even created a specific ‘senior hour’ (8 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily) which can be seen on Medway’s Cable Channel 8 (Comcast) and Channel 36 (Verizon), and if someone does not have cable, it can be seen on Medway Cable Access’s Facebook page under ‘videos,’” says Fennyery.
“This is definitely not programming just for seniors,” says Schneier. “The programming is great for anyone who knows they need content and will be making decisions.”
Regarding training Medway Senior Center staff on how to use cameras and equipment, as well as loaning equipment out, Amy Huff, Studio Manager at Medway Cable Access, says that is something that has always been available to Medway residents.
“We don’t just provide equipment, but we also provide the training. You are able to take out equipment, and we offer a series of classes to Medway residents at no charge,” says Huff. The next series of classes will be offered in the fall.
“Part of my function as access coordinator is to basically introduce (residents) to cable,” says Schneier. “We’re here as a service to you, like a public library, but instead of books, you can check out equipment. People often come by and say, ‘I didn’t know this existed.’ Everyone contributes to the fees through cable bills, so the cost is nothing. If people are really interested, they have access to state-of-the-art equipment. They can produce good looking stuff they can be proud of.” One Medway resident, he explains, learned how to use all the equipment to produce a podcast on genealogy.
“It’s not ‘Wayne’s World,’” says Huff, “and although you can’t package it and sell it, people can share it to their own Facebook pages and websites.” Both Huff and Schneier say even Medway businesses can take part, so long as they are producing programming of value to the community and not simply advertising their products.
“We do have an acupuncturist in Medway that produces a show called ‘Health, Naturally,’ about alternative care. Businesses can create programs to raise awareness about their industry,” says Huff.
Huff says the relationship with the senior center is symbiotic. “Our job is to reach out as a community resource, it’s just a good partnership.”
Future “Good to Know” subject matter will include an overview of the Medway Senior Center’s health fair participants, and fall topics the senior center is considering include Meals-on-Wheels, Home Care, protective services, and information on Tri-Valley Elder Services or the Ombudsman program.
Fennyery believes that airing the programs will also be useful for those who might be hesitant to attend a talk on SNAP benefits, for example. “Sometimes it’s more private at home,” she says.
“Video is just so pervasive in our society, on TV or online,” says Schneier.
If you have an idea for a show on Good to Know, contact Marcia Lombardo at the Medway Senior Center.