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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 fridge is stocked with diet coke and beer, and we’re out to change the world, one neighbourhood at a time.
We’re looking for a friendly, enthusiastic intern to champion our online community over the next three months. You’ll help to manage, engage with and grow our user base, and there’s a good chance of progression to a permanent position within our marketing team.
The role involves:
responding to user support queries and suggestions
building the user support knowledge base
monitoring and moderating community content
tracking and sharing newsworthy community content
researching, building and maintaining contact lists and databases
contributing to our corporate social media channels
providing general administrative support
The ideal candidate will have:
strong written and verbal communication skills
a friendly and persuasive (yet tactful!) manner
excellent attention to detail
patience and a willingness to persist at repetitive tasks
solid organisational skills and the ability to work autonomously
a good understanding of social media and digital communications
an interest in marketing, customer relations or community management
enthusiasm for helping people connect with their local community
We’re after a graduate who is available immediately, and until the end of April 2013 or beyond. Applicants must be able and eligible to work at our Central London office.
Benefits include a salary of £12.5k pro-rata, lunch and drinks while you’re at our office, and a great location in the heart of Covent Garden.
This is a great opportunity for a digital native to gain experience with an online community which we expect to grow to millions of active users, and hopefully to have some fun too.
Please send your CV (including details of any previous work experience) and details of your availability to email@example.com. No agencies.
What better way to start 2013, than by getting together with your neighbours and supporting one another?
We’ve put together a few ideas for how the Streetlife community can help you achieve your new year’s resolutions:
Live more healthily
If you’re aiming to lose weight, get fit or quit smoking, you’re more likely to stick at it if there’s someone else counting on you. Streetlife provides the perfect place to find a local walking buddy or sports team, so you can encourage one another and make exercise a fun and sociable experience.
Sharing skills and belongings with neighbours can save you money, give you access to more, and help you meet some friendly local faces. Streetlife makes it easy to borrow and lend everything from hedge trimmers, tents and sewing machines, to spreadsheet skills and baking tips.
Try new experiences
Whether you want to learn a language, take up painting, volunteer for a local cause, or just explore your area, the Streetlife community can offer a wealth of advice on local events and opportunities, and help you find people with common interests to start up a new group or club.
Improve your home
There’s no better way to find a reliable tradesman than by word of mouth, and the local social network is a great place to ask for recommendations. If you need to borrow tools or could do with some tips for a DIY job around the home or garden, someone on Streetlife can probably help too.
Join the conversation in your neighbourhood on Streetlife and make 2013 a neighbourly new year!
From Jubilee street parties to Olympic volunteers, 2012 was a fantastic year for bringing communities together.
And we were thrilled to welcome an incredible 50,000 newcomers to Streetlife in neighbourhoods across the nation, helped by a BBC Breakfast News feature, Stephen Fry’s extraordinary Twitter clout, and our partnership with regional media publisher Archant.
But the greatest achievements and most heart-warming stories came from members of our community, connecting and sharing with their neighbours.
We saw lost pets reunited with owners, scammers exposed, threatened public services saved, local conversations make national headlines, countless skills and belongings offered, and real-life friendships formed.
Emma O., a keen Streetlife contributor, sums it up brilliantly:
Seeing people on Streetlife sharing and helping their neighbours is a lovely reminder that I’m part of a supportive, friendly community.
Here’s to a neighbourly new year!
Borrowing a ladder from a neighbour used to be commonplace, but for many, lifestyles and the way we socialise changed. Busy schedules and less contact with neighbours made it more awkward to ask favours, and a shift towards consumerism encouraged a culture of buying things, even though we might only use them once or twice.
With the economic climate as it is, people are starting to think differently about purchases, and they’re also considering how their consumption affects the environment. The focus is shifting from ownership to access, and the internet is making it easier to discover and pool assets, from DVD collections to cars and spare rooms.
Give, swap, lend and share on Streetlife
Within every local community there’s a wealth of knowledge, skills and belongings. From hedge trimmers, fishing rods and slow cookers, to sewing, gardening or spreadsheet skills, everyone has something to offer.
Sharing enables us to experience and access much more. It can help save money, space and resources, and best of all, it’s a great way to get to know your neighbours and help them out.
To celebrate Global Sharing Day, we’ve made it easier to pool neighbourhood resources on Streetlife.
What will you share?
The possibilities are endless, but here are some suggestions for things you might share with your neighbours:
lend and borrow things you use rarely, like drills, jump leads, folding chairs and gazebos
offer your time and skills – you might be able to help a neighbour learn a foreign language, while someone down the road could fix your leaky tap
exchange items like plant cuttings, home-grown produce and clothes, so you get more variety without breaking the bank
have an autumn clear-out and give away second hand furniture, books and unused electronic goods to support local community groups and newcomers setting up home
share your passion or hobby – if you have camping equipment or a yoga mat, offering it to neighbours could help them try something new without having to spend money upfront
pool recommendations and business contacts; there’s no better way to find a trusty tradesman or a friendly freelancer than by word of mouth
share land – if you have a garden or allotment but limited time or skills to cultivate it, invite a green-fingered neighbour to help out
exchange local knowledge, news and events, so together you can make the most of where you live.
Offer the skills or belongings you’d be happy to share with your neighbours here, or start a conversation requesting something you need help with.
We’re excited to introduce a brand new feature this week, to help local groups, businesses, services and causes engage with their community.
Since we launched, over 60,000 people have joined the local social network, and posted almost 200,000 messages exchanging recommendations and discussing nearby news, services and events.
Now, by popular demand, we’re inviting users to create pages for organisations they care about, to help their neighbours discover and support local groups, businesses and good causes.
Extend your reach
Within your local community there are potential members, volunteers, employees, supporters, customers or donors for your organisation. Our new pages enable you to reach them, in the voice of your local organisation.
Whether you run a rugby club, church group or hair salon, you’ll have advice, opportunities and support to offer your local community. Creating a page on Streetlife will help you engage with new people in your area, build a loyal following, and share your news and events with them.
Create a page for an organisation you represent, or suggest local groups or businesses you’d like to engage with on Streetlife here.