25th July to 3rd August 2014
We’re supporting Love Parks Week 2014, a nationwide initiative from Keep Britain Tidy that aims to get everybody outdoors enjoying our beautiful parks and green spaces.
Quality green spaces are essential to healthy, happy communities. Every day we see Streetlifers getting together to explore, maintain, and make the most of their local parks and green spaces - and enjoying fantastic benefits as a result.
Love Parks Weeks is now in its eighth year. Last year more than 380,000 people were inspired to head to an event, with activities ranging from energetic exercise classes to relaxing yoga sessions, wildflower planting to pond-dipping, al fresco art and crafts to open air theatre, and of course, family fun days and good old fashioned picnics.
Hundreds of events have been organised in parks across the country during Love Parks Week 2014. Take a look at the Love Parks Week website to see a full list and find an event in your local area.
To show your support for this great cause, why not start a conversation on Streetlife about a treasured green space or favourite park in your area? You could tell your neighbours about events happening locally – or even get together and organise your own.
Wishing you all a wonderful week of fresh air and fun!
Despite all the scare stories in the news about the internet denting our social skills, here at Community How To we believe - just like Streetlife - that being online can actually bring communities together more easily. That’s why our mission is to make the work of community groups all over the country that little bit easier, by helping them find the right digital tools to bring people together.
Whether it’s raising funds, organising events or recruiting volunteers to help, there’s an online tool or service out there that can help you with your community project. The trouble is, it can be difficult to know what’s out there, where to start and what’s already working for other people. That’s where Community How To comes in. It brings together all the top tools, tips and case studies that could help you do more of what you do best, and find out how others are doing it already.
We’ve heard some great stories through the site, from Beekeepers who organise themselves online to multi-language communities “talking” through Google Translate. But we’d always love to hear more…
So if you need to find a digital tool to help your community, or if you’ve got any to recommend to others, come pay us a visit at www.communityhowto.com - and pay us back by adding your stories and recommendations!
(Don’t worry, we already have Streetlife in our top tools for communicating online… why not leave your top tips to get others started?)
This guest blog post has been written by Vicky Lawson, Online Communications Manager, Community How To
Three years ago only a handful of South West London locals had heard of Streetlife. Today, 131,305 people across 10 counties use our site, with thousands more joining every week.
When we started out a few people questioned our idea, saying that neighbours should talk on the street, not hide behind closed doors and computer screens… One critic even described us as “the anti-social network”!
But members of active communities know that there’s much more to Streetlife than online chat. Every day we see hundreds of conversations leading to real-life meetings, from coffee mornings and lending ladders, to litter picks and campaigns to save treasured local assets. Countless strangers, connected by their postcodes, have become friends.
Now we’re sharing Streetlifers’ stories, to show the world how simple online conversations are making a difference in local communities across the country.
Take a look at real-life stories from Streetlife communities here.
Tell your story
If you have a story about how the Streetlife community has helped where you live - no matter how small - we’d love to hear from you. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can you show someone how to use a computer keyboard or mouse, browse a tablet or smartphone, and send an email?
Then get involved with Spring Online, and have some fun running a free internet taster session for your local community!
We’re delighted to be supporting Spring Online again this year, a nationwide campaign run by Digital Unite that helps people who aren’t online to understand and engage with digital technology - many for the first time.
From 31 March to 4 April 2014 thousands of free events will be held by volunteers and organisations to assist and inspire local people to achieve a lasting use of the internet.
From saving money and finding new interests, to keeping in touch with distant relatives and connecting with their local Streetlife community, developing digital skills can make a huge difference to the lives of older people, particularly those who are isolated or less mobile.
Here’s what Beryl, aged 81, said following an event she attended:
I have entered a whole new world. I can talk to family and friends on Skype, email them, share jokes, Google things I want to know and chat to friends and family… I can travel the world without leaving my chair.”
You can help!
Whether you have access to one tablet or a room full of computers, Spring Online is a brilliant opportunity to help people in your community. It’s easy to do, hugely rewarding, and needn’t cost anything but your time.
Digital Unite will support you all the way with downloadable posters, leaflets and certificates, activity ideas, and guidance on planning your event.
Start a conversation with your local Streetlife community to discuss ideas for venues and to recruit volunteers and learners in your area.
For friendly advice and to register your event go to digitalunite.com/spring-online or email email@example.com.
Since we launched Streetlife, 100,000 neighbours in over 2,000 communities across Britain have got together to talk about the issues they care about and make a positive difference where they live.
lost pets returned to their owners
libraries, pubs and village shops saved from closure
crime alerts exchanged and local scammers exposed
neighbours sharing belongings and skills, from lawn mowers to computing tips
locals volunteering to pick litter and help out at soup kitchens
campaigns to preserve green spaces from development
hundreds of social groups started, from coffee mornings to jogging clubs and craft groups
thousands of recommendations for trusty tradespeople and treasured local businesses exchanged…
And it’s all because of people like you, talking, sharing, and caring about your local area.
Please share Streetlife with a few people you know, and help us unite neighbours across the nation.
Wishing you a Happy Christmas and a Neighbourly New Year!
As a nation, we built our economy and social existence around the retail experience.
Thriving high streets provide important community hubs and local employment opportunities, but independent businesses face stiff competition from online giants and out of town centres.
Saturday 7th December is Small Business Saturday, an initiative to encourage people to shop in local, independent businesses in the run up to Christmas.
You can make a difference!
Support your local shops and services this Christmas – buy gifts locally where possible.
Champion the local brands you value – recommend a business to friends and neighbours by word of mouth, or share it via social media.
Arrange meetings in the heart of the local community to have a coffee, people-watch, search for bargains, and enjoy the social aspects of retail therapy.
Organise a “cash mob”, whereby a group mobilised over the internet gather at a certain location to support a local business in need of a boost.
Help retailers adapt and grow by providing feedback and sharing your vision for a thriving high street or town centre.
How can Streetlife help?
Streetlife provides a platform to share your views on local shopping facilities and how they can become more unique, attractive, accessible and enjoyable.
Our users are keen to support local businesses, so Streetlife is an ideal place for independent retailers to engage with their community, respond to requests for advice, seek feedback, and promote incentives to visit their premises.
Every week, hundreds of recommendations are exchanged on Streetlife, from plumbers to hairdressers, garden centres to charity shops. A recent survey revealed that four out of five users have discovered a local business, service or event via the local social network.
And the best thing of all, is that the recommendations exchanged online are helping to build real-world connections. We’ve seen users inviting neighbours over to admire their kitchen-fitter’s handiwork, finding seamstresses who live around the corner, forming cooperatives to bulk-buy local produce, setting up community bookshops and pop-up galleries.
With around 11,800 branches, the Post Office is in the heart of more communities than any other organisation. Some branches, particularly in more rural areas, offer much more than traditional services, from free internet access to health centres and nurseries.
The Department for Communities and Local Government and the Post Office are jointly funding an initiative to support sub-postmasters to develop new ways to enhance their role as community hubs by offering new services, support, facilities or activities to local people, groups, charities or businesses.
Post Office branches in England can apply to receive grants of up to £10,000 to support a new scheme or service that will benefit the wider community, support and empower local people, and strengthen community engagement.
That kind of thing is right up our street, and we’d love to see some of you benefiting!
Here are a few ideas of the type of scheme the fund could support:
- classes in key skills such as reading, languages, computing or the internet
- mentoring and advice services for small businesses, or display space for local producers
- partnerships with local charities to provide a meeting space, notice board and other forms of support
- hubs or meeting spaces for community groups involved in local issues such as neighbourhood planning
Not sure how your community might benefit?
Our users share a wealth of knowledge and are never short on ideas, so why not start a conversation on Streetlife asking local individuals, groups and organisations in your community what they think?
Got an idea you’d like your Post Office to support?
Brilliant! Download and print out this PDF, write down your idea, take it into your local Post Office and have a chat with the sub-postmaster or branch manager about what you could do together to benefit your local community.
There’s more information about the scheme here, and if you have further questions you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for applications is Friday 18th October 2013. Up to 20 schemes across England will be awarded a grant - so get your ideas in now and keep us and your local community posted via Streetlife!
The 2012 Games showed Britain at its best. The country came together, medals rolled in, and The Queen skydived out of a helicopter.
Now the spirit of the games is back in the form of Britain’s Personal Best - an Olympic sized idea inspiring people to reach their goals by setting and sharing personal bests.
Individuals and organisations, companies and communities are coming together to do something new, from…
- learning to drive to offering a ride
- taking a jog to writing a blog
- starting a band to lending a hand
- visiting a neighbour to talking to a stranger
We love this kind of stuff; it strengthens communities and brings people together. So we’re happy to be buddying up with Britain’s Personal Best to encourage Streetlifers to join in!
Maybe you’d like to try something new, make a positive change to your lifestyle, or become more involved in your local community?
There are loads of ideas to inspire you here, but the choice is yours so feel free to be creative!
Once you have an idea, share your personal best here, and if it’s something that other people in your local community might be able to join in or help with, start a conversation on Streetlife.
Britain’s Personal Best kicks off with The Big Weekend on 4th to 6th October 2013, so now’s a great time to get involved!
FOUR POSITIONS AVAILABLE - IDEAL GRADUATE OPPORTUNITIES!
streetlife.com, the local social network, is a fully funded startup based in Covent Garden, London.
We’re a small, passionate team. Our meetings are informal, our kitchen is stocked with diet coke and enough Green & Black’s to make your eyes bulge… and we’re out to change the world, one neighbourhood at a time.
We’re recruiting FOUR County Champions to form an exciting new team that will drive the growth of our service in new areas across the UK.
You’ll be launching streetlife.com in a new county over each three month period, and will be tasked with researching and engaging with key local organisations and influencers in your target area, to drive user signups and build thriving online communities.
The role will be primarily office-based, with occasional expensed travel to key meetings or events within launch territories.
This is a fantastic opportunity for recent graduates to gain experience in a challenging and varied role incorporating elements of sales, marketing, PR and relationship management, and to represent an innovative digital brand during a period of rapid growth.
It’s going to be a lot of fun, and for the right individuals there will be significant opportunities for progression and increased earnings as we scale our business.
Desired skills & experience:
Far more important than experience is energy, enthusiasm and determination.
We have targets to hit and deadlines to meet, so this is not for the faint-hearted. But the right candidates will be well rewarded with bonuses for each county successfully launched and performance-related incentives along the way. And of course, we’ll give you the best start possible, with a comprehensive induction and training period, and ongoing support and knowledge-sharing across the team.
The ideal candidate will have:
- an outgoing, friendly and persuasive manner
- the ability to build relationships with a wide variety of people
- strong interpersonal skills with first-rate oral and written English
- solid organisational skills and the ability to manage time and prioritise tasks
- the confidence and resilience to cold contact prospects via phone and email
- a strong work ethic and the determination to persist at repetitive tasks
- the drive to take ownership of a territory and maximise success
- the ability to work as part of a small team, sharing knowledge and supporting colleagues
- enthusiasm for the role of digital media in connecting local people and building stronger, safer communities
- basic salary of £15k plus quarterly performance-related bonuses (first year OTE £25k)
- FREE lunch from some of the best eateries in Covent Garden plus drinks and snacks while you’re at our office
- 28 days annual leave, in addition to national holidays
- eligibility to participate in company share option scheme after one year
- a great office location in the heart of Covent Garden
Please send your CV with a cover note detailing your suitability for the role and availability to start (including any notice period) to email@example.com.
Applicants should be available to attend interviews in Covent Garden before the end of 12th July 2013, and able and eligible to work full-time at our Central London office.
No agencies please.
If you’re reading this, the chances are you’re pretty good with computers, the internet, and probably smartphones and tablets too.
But official figures released last month reveal that a staggering 7.4 million Britons have never used the internet. Many more don’t have basic online skills such as searching the web or sending and receiving emails, and they’re missing out on all that computers and the internet can offer.
Supporting others, particularly older people, to develop digital skills and confidence is essential in this modern age. It can help them save money, reduce feelings of isolation, enable them to find new hobbies and interests, enhance relationships with family living further afield, and connect them with their local community via Streetlife.
Share your skills this April!
Spring Online is an award-winning national campaign run by Digital Unite, that aims to help older people and other less confident users to understand and use digital technology.
The campaign works by supporting people like you to hold free taster events within your local community for neighbours, colleagues, friends or family between the 22 and 26 April 2013.
Taster sessions can be held anywhere from your front room to the local library, internet café or pub. How they’re run is up to each organiser, and they need not cost anything but a bit of your time.
Last year around 2,000 Spring Online events were held, helping over 30,000 people explore digital technology, many for the first time. Here’s what one delighted participant had to say:
You know, I was so terrified this morning I nearly never came. I have never used a computer before and now I have an email account and can shop online. I am so delighted I came, I wish I could stay all day.
And running an event is extremely rewarding for the organisers too:
It has been wonderful to see people going from being afraid to even touch a computer and not knowing what a mouse is, let alone how to use it, to setting up email accounts and searching websites. The change in their confidence was so rewarding to see.
Register your Spring Online event here. You’ll receive a marketing pack, tips, activity ideas and how-to guides, plus a chance to win cash prizes.
Then post details of your event on Streetlife, to recruit helpers and encourage local people to spread the word to their neighbours!
Find out more from Digital Unite or call 0800 228 9272.