With 2014 now in its last month, I thought it would be appropriate if we had a post that brought everything that L4G SW Herts had done over the year and looked back on the growth in the district over the year. At the end of this blog, I will talk about some of the future plans for 2015 and how things may progress in year ahead.
The essence of Link4Growth is hosting free community building events and bringing people together to see how we can help them. Currently, there are around 15 events a month in a variety of locations and types ranging from coffees, drinks and the occasional curry night which was launched in SW Herts back in September with a follow up in November. As well as increasing the number of events, we have started events in new areas of the district including in Moor Park in the excellent Cafe Loco and in Nash Mills where we collaborate with a local charity called Waterways Experiences who allow us to host our event on board their wide-beam narrowboats. We have also launched a fortnightly event at the Watford Market we people who are interested in buying local can come, meet the L4G team and then be introduced to the traders they want to meet.
As stated on many different parts of the L4G collateral, buying local and supporting independent businesses is a key part of the L4G ethos. Not only does buying local help support our local communities but it enables us to find some products that aren't available in the national/multi-national chain shops.
This year, saw the launch of the new market in Watford and this saw a new urgency to give the buy local initiative the spark it needs. As well as the push to expand the Buy Local community on G+, we have created a YouTube playlist which is a list of short videos with the same traders we are looking to help. The playlist can be found here.
Charities and CSR
As well as helping local businesses, we also want to help local charities who not only do really good work in our community but they also lack the ability to get their message out to the people who can help them. We regularly host a CSR lunch in Rickmansworth which enables charities to meet businesses who may be able to help them. As a result of these event, we have been able to collaborate with two charities in particular and help promote their events online and offline. L4G has had a presence at many of the events that charities host and this is mainly due to our passion to help these charities.
The SW Herts Community Reporters and District Website
The last 3 months has seen a real team develop in SW Herts in which every member is passionate about bringing the community the good news that happens to the community. Not only does this enable more information to be found and shared, it also reduces the workload for each member and this means they are more able to contribute. See the blog post by +Chris Ogle for details about the team.
This crack team has enabled us to produce the District Website for SW Herts. This website found here is a one stop shop for all things relevant to SW Herts with links to the Community TV shows, L4G communities on G+, links to local events and a blog which anyone can contribute to. This is key to making it easy for people to find out how to get involved with every aspect that we offer.
So what does 2015 hold for L4G in SW Herts. Well I cant tell you what will happen but here are some predictions:
- There will be new events spread around the district. Areas such as Rickmansworth and the Langleys will have new community building events and this will enable us to help as many people as we can in the area. As well as new areas, I'm sure that we will add events in areas like Cassiobury, at West Herts College as well as the soon to be opened Reason Coffee Shop at the top of Watford High Street.
- The Buy Local initiative will exploded and the aforementioned Buy Local community will begin to fill with deals, offers and specials from local traders who you can support. Armed with the new BuyLocal cards, members of SW Herts' reporters will be spreading the word of how Link4Growth can help.
- The CSR lunches will be buzzing with local charities who are looking to remove the cloak of invisibility from around them. This will result in them being found by people who can help them which will result in them achieving their goals in helping people.
2014 has seemed so many developments and this is just a sample of what has happened this year. 2015 will be as good and next year's report should be even better than this years.