Sunday, 3 August 2014

L4G SW Herts Half-Year Update: #It'sAwesome

With 2014 now being officially 8 months old, we at +Link4Growth SW Herts thought it more than necessary to take a step back from what is going on this weekend, lots by the way, to bring you our half-year report on the 1st 7 months of 2014 to take time to show how much progress has happened since the year began and to outline some objectives for the rest of the year ahead. 

Where better to start that what +Link4Growth is probably most known for and that is events. Currently in SW Herts, we have 10 events a month. This year we have added a brand new coffee in Northwood which launched in July as well as L4GYouth drinks which will be a vital tool for helping young people in our community learn about the world and to make sure they are fully equipt for the working world. Lastly, we have launched two coffees on Saturday morning at Eli's Kitchen on the Watford Market. For many months, +Chris Ogle and I seemed to be the only people who knew about the events but over the course of the last month, people are starting to be aware that we are there and are joining us for a coffee. The event is a great way to not only build community but also meet some of the awesome market traders who are truly experts in what they sell. I'm sure in the coming months, Eli's Kitchen will be full of people getting to know each other and then buying locally for some food for the weekend.

Whilst mentioning L4GYouth and the idea of buying local, now seems the most appropriate time to talk about the #CSIWatford project. For anyone who doesn't know, CSI stands for Community Student Initiative and the project launches in September with the help of Stanmore College whose students will be working alongside local charities and small independent businesses to build them each a Google+ business page and then for a period, help with the promoting off it. More can be found here but as this is a no lose situation for everyone involved, a huge amount of progress will be made in a short period of time. 

Speaking of Google+, a huge amount of progress has been made on the L4G Watford community and I am quite amazing by it. Only a few months ago, it seemed like it was only myself and Chris posting in there and now we have a 'thriving' community in there. People began to see that they can easily get involved by simply getting their smart phones out, taking a few pictures and then commenting on them. This simple concept allowed +Diane Richardson to come up with the awesome #wwcplusphoto competition which has really shown that not only does Watford and SW Herts have some awesome buildings but it has a town full of people who want to tell people what they know about them as well. You still have time to enter the competition and win some amazing prizes and have the chance to have the +Watford Women's Centre raise some funds. 

Also using Google+, SW Herts debuted the concept of #CommunityTV allowing the district leaders a chance to bring the local updates from #Link4Growth and to allow everyone and anyone the chance to come on and talk about their issues. We had some awesome guests such as +Tania Clarke+mike bridger and who can't forget the awesome show featuring the awesome trio of +Tracey Burke, +Lester Wagman and +Sara Jane Trebar. Now with my awesome co-host +Carol Dodsley, #CommunityTV will be going from strength to strengthen.  

Now after looking at where we have come from, I plan to look to the future and what is coming up and planned for the future in SW Herts. In terms of events, the district again is at the cutting end of things and in September, the launch of the L4GCurry will take place in Watford. This event will combine some of our favorite things in this country; community building and Indian food. I know this will be a great event and I hope to see as many faces, old and new there. All the details can be found here.

Due to the awesomeness of Google+, each district page can have its own blog and I am now looking to take advantage of this. I am actively recruiting keen bloggers and writers from the area to start contributing to it. I know that +Paul Roberts is going to be the blog's historian and hopefully will be bring you blogs about the historical side to the area. I'm also keen for a cultural blogger to showcase the area's artistic side and showcase all the events that are happening, a sporting blogger who will bring you up to date with all the sports news from the area, not just the football club!! Lastly, how about a foodie blogger who, whenever they try a restaurant in the area, gives use a little review with pictures. If anyone fancies having a go at one of these blogs let me know or throw suggestions to me!!

Lastly, I plan to bring other people into the SW Herts team for people who want to step up to help run one of the events in the area. If we all take responsibility for 1% of the work, before long we will be in a position to have events in new areas of the district or in different venues of existing ones. If you are up for the challenge and want to take advantage of the benefits that come with it, let me know and we will get things rolling.

I hope this blog has reminded you as well as me where we as a district has come from in the 1st half of 2014 and that the district will be 'thriving' (sorry +Tania for using the pun again) by the time the bells begin to ring out for 2015. I made a promise on my L4GSoundbite that  SW Herts will be the best district in #Link4Growth. I don't intend to break that promise and with the competition coming from those guys 'up norf' led by +Gerri Riddiough, I know that it will not be easy but its going to be fun trying!!

Friday, 1 August 2014

L4G #Community Update 01/08/14

For everyone who isn't aware, there was no #CommunityTVShow this week due to internet issues, so rather than letting you all miss out on what is going on, I thought I'd return to the blogging sphere for an update on what I've been upto, whats happening in #Watford and the updates from +Link4Growth in terms of events and training.

Where's Alex Been

Its been another busy week for me with 4 events locally plus ventures to other districts to talk about #L4GYouth. Last Saturday, +Chris Ogle and I met up with a few other at Eli's Kitchen on the Watford Market. The event is planned so that people can not only get the benefits of a #Link4Coffee events but also the chance for us to introduce any newcomers to the various market traders and help promote the idea of buying local. Chris and I are down there most Saturdays from 10:00am and I look forward to seeing some of you there.

Monday this week was the launch of #Link4Coffee in Northwood. Based in a local independent cafe, near Moor Park station, the cafe was a buzz of excitement with a great mix of new, old and returning faces. A new event is a great way to get people who may never have met to connect and see the bonds of the community strengthen.  Check out the picture below for a taste of what was happening.

This week also say two events over in Rickmansworth with a #Link4Coffee event in the Regus building and the monthly CSR Luncheon which aims to bring businesses and charities together to be able to help each other. Both events had great turnouts and these events are allowing relationships to be formed and blossom and it was great to see the like of +Tania Clarke+Tony Rook and +Diane Richardson again and catch up and see if we can help them. With it now being August, we repeat the calender and I look forward to seeing you at an event soon.

What's on Locally

For anyone who regularly watches the #CommunityTVShow, this portion is your go to guide for things happening in Watford and this district. To begin with, all this weekend, the Outdoor Cinema continues this weekend and pictures of the set up are in the L4G Watford community.

As well as films, the #wwcplusphoto competition carries on with the chance to win some amazing prizes and have the chance to donate money to the +Watford Women's Centre. All the details and 'rules' are in the community. Below would have been my entry but for me judging the contest. Its of the American University in Bushey and one of my favorite buildings in the area.

For those who are free tomorrow afternoon and want to learn more about #Watford history, pop along to the Watford Museum and check out their High Street trail starting at 12pm for a chance to learn about Watford and its architectural history. Of course, if you take pictures, you know where to put them!!

Community Update

Next week, we have a #Link4Coffee event in the Regus in Watford and I look forward to seeing everyone who attends and seeing how #Link4Growth can help them with whatever their issues are

In terms of training, we have the start of the Linked In Accelerated Learning Programe (ALP) which starts on Wednesday, so for you guys collecting names on there, check out the link and you will start to see benefits. In terms of training, the prices have just risen for both the ALPs and the half day workshops (with intent) meaning that to get the most out of it, I'd recommend you checking out the website page dedicated to subscription to see the benefits that subscribing can offer.

I hope everyone likes this version of the #CommunityTVShow and I promise the regular show will be back next week.

Have a great week,

Alex Murray