Empowered Communities - what's your view?

How can communities become more empowered and vibrant in the next ten years? That’s the question driving ‘Empowered Communities in the 2020s’, a research and public engagement project led by Local Trust. Along with their research partner, IVAR, Local Trust wants to gather a wide range of views about the future of communities – including yours! Individuals, organisations, public service

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Building the spec for your Community Information Platform

So you’re interested in exploring whether a Community Information Platform could meet your needs at your local authority? If so, this post aims to help you consider what your spec needs to be, and what a Community Information Platform might do for you. Every local authority’s needs will be different, but there’s a lot of common ground across the sector. Some of your needs might be met by

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Podcast interview with Surrey Residents' Network

The very enthusiastic Paul Deach of Surrey Residents Network interviewed Helen for his podcast here. As you'll hear, Helen talked about the 'Generational Communication Breakdown', and why email is the best way of communicating for small community groups. Why it's essential to communicat

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Good Neighbour Schemes - could they work better together?

I've been thinking a lot about Good Neighbour schemes lately. It seems to me that there's a big opportunity to make these small voluntary schemes work better, with a bit of shared technology and a large dose of local collaboration. Good Neighbour schemes are the heroic all-year-round schemes that routinely help the less mobile members of our communities to get to hospital appointments, p

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20 things I learnt at LocalGovCamp

Last Saturday I experienced my first 'unconference' - LocalGovCamp 2016 in Birmingham, where over 100 local government people (and hangers-on such as me) came together to discuss whatever was uppermost on their/our collective minds. I wrote a list of what I learnt, and here's the list! Before I start,

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What makes Surrey worry?

I recently met up with Surrey County Council's Liz Fowler who is in charge of community resilience for Surrey, and she told me some amazing facts about what Surrey is most worried about when it comes to community resilience, and why her objective to get communities planning for the worst is so important. In Surrey, I had thought that the main worries for communities would be flooding, and s

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What local voluntary infrastructure organisations fantasise about

I pitched and ran a session at the wonderful VCSSCamp yesterday. It was my second ever 'unconference' (read about my first here), and in case you don't know what an unconference is, it's a conference without an agenda, at least initially. The participants 'pitch' sessions and other participants hop

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Could the local voluntary sector use email better?

At VCSSCamp (the recent unconference I attended), I led a session on email. Attendees were from Voluntary Sector infrastructure organisations from around the UK. Email is a topic I'm very interested in, because I am one of the founders of interests.me, an email newsletter network tool for the voluntary sector. It turned out that others

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On #LocalCharitiesDay, local charities need to communicate better

Today, Friday December 16th is the first ever Local Charities Day. Ever optimistic, this morning the Guardian published this article entitled "Local charities stretched to breaking, with half not sure of lasting five years", referencing

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Uber for Volunteering

There are loads of apps and software platforms out there to help potential volunteers find opportunities, or to help voluntary organisations recruit volunteers. But no-one (so far) seems to have seized the opportunity to create an "Uber for Volunteering" - an on-demand person-to-person (or person-to-group) local help marketplace that enables people to offer and receive local help, direct

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interests.me re-launches with a new look and new features

interests.me, the tool that helps non-profit organisations manage their communications, has re-launched with a ton of new features. The team aim to make interests.me the 'one stop shop' for multi-channel communications for small organisations. When interests.me launched only 12 months ago, it was mainly as an email newsletter tool. It earned acc

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Twitter user?

Are you a Twitter user? If so, you can click here to tweet about interests.me's relaunch. Tweeting about us really helps us to get the word out, so A BIG THANK YOU to all of you who take the time to do this. If we don't already follow you, we'd love to. Also, if you are a Twitter user, you really need to check out our new Tweet Li

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