Thursday, 2 January 2020

Would you help bring our local community together?

Random Cafe - Meriden Community Centre
Our communities are diverse, vibrant places filled with people doing interesting things. One of the sentences I hear very often is "I wished I'd known about that, I would have loved to have gone along".

The challenges for getting information into the community are many but if we assume the simplest way is via the internet these days then we are presented with a myriad of choices once again...

Which platform (service) shall we use? (e.g. Social media, eventbrite, local marketing website, local newspaper), how many people are likely to see it?  What will it cost?

Of course it very much depends on the nature of the information you want to share

  • Local news story (Business, Charity, local success, sports news) 
  • Paid for event (education, seminars, service)
  • Community events or local news stories (free)
  • Networking events
  • Local videos of things happening
Link4Growth SWHerts TV

What would be ideal is if we had a place to share this information online that was available to everyone, was easy to navigate, and free to put everything that was going on.

How could that happen?

Well it already exists. Built on a free platform it provides us with all of the above and is totally FREE for us to gather everything together into one place via a "Community Hub". That's the easy bit really. The next big task is to get information into it... 

Projects & Charity Corner 

That's where help is needed!

Before we get into what help is needed, first let's explain who is behind this initiative, why, who benefits, and is this a commercial venture in any way?

Who is behind the initiative? : Link4Growth South West Herts community
Why is it being done? : To provide a central treasure chest of local information "by the people for the people"
Who can benefit from the community hub? : Quite simply anyone living in the area
Is it a commercial venture? : No, purely for the benefit of the community, Free to operate & use
Who provides the news? : We do, the people making the news in our community

Why is help needed?

SWHerts is an area that is covered by 14 towns and villages shown below :-

Watford | Rickmansworth | Croxley Green | Northwood | Bushey | Oxhey South | Oxhey | Carpenders Park | Kings Langley | Abbots Langley | Garston | Leavesden | Chorleywood | Harefield

Each of these areas has its own area with multiple pages, links, news feeds (twitter), calendar and stories. There is quite a lot of work for each town. We have built a template for the Watford area and are now looking to grow the other areas.

Everything is in place for us to make this a huge resource for the area. It costs nothing to host and update and yet can scale to whatever size we'd like to make it...

Who would enjoy being involved with the Hub team?

If you are already involved in your local community and have a good idea about what is happening that would be great. Typically if you are one of those 'goto' people for local knowledge that would be perfect.

If you like writing stories about local people, local events or even like to make general commentary about what is happening locally then this would also be awesome... 

Events & What's on... for each town / village
If you are handy with a camera, video... or are already creating content which you'd like to be shared to a wider audience the TV section could work well for your creativity too!

We'd also like a graphic artist to get involved as it would be good to give the hub a bit of a refresh and new thinking would be great.

If you would like to make a local contribution, with a fun team, with no pressure, but where you can make a difference... this might just be just the thing.

What skills are needed?

The following technologies are used, however training will be given, providing there is a good understanding of the Internet and computers in general.

Google Calendar
Google Drive
Image editing (types, cropping, resizing etc.)
Google sites

Is there any payment for contributing?

There is no payment, however there would be plenty of opportunity for exposure. Plus many of the people involved in the community run businesses with plenty of networking opportunities to meet people face-to-face. Once a conversation starts, who knows where it will lead!

Great opportunity also to learn new skills and be amongst a very positive, pro-active, co-creating, community network of people.

How do you make an enquiry for more info?

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