Creating a village – digitally?
I was in lovely town Pitlochry recently and needed my watch strap adjusted. I assumed I would need a ‘jeweller’ to do that and so popped into the only jewellers in the high street. I was disappointed to hear that they couldn’t help, however, they did tell me that the person in the leather shop round the corner would probably do it for me!! Within 10 mins, my watch strap was sorted – FREE of charge!
Could it be possible to recreate the village mentality across a large Local Authority, where those who connect with people needing help can say, ‘ I can’t do it, but Jim down the road can’.
Let me give you an example. Isolation is a killer! We will not resolve the ‘social costs’ of isolation through service provision and so we need to build people into community. Not always, but in more ways than we sometimes realise, community is happening all around us, but because there is no ‘village square’ and connection can be hard to find. The carer who supports Jasbir, an isolated older person, with personal care, but also connects her to the volunteers who visit or take her out for a coffee, brings community to Jasbir’s door. Jasbir chooses how much/little she wants to engage – but she has the opportunity to connect!
That’s the goal of CommunityConnect. Creating a village square – digitally. Ensuring anyone who connects with someone in need can say, ‘I can’t, but I know who can’. For those who can get to ‘the village square’ – they just need to tell us what’s going on and we can direct them to relevant support for their situation, even if they don’t know what help is available – bit like my watch strap experience!
The day of joined up services, may happen, but in the meantime I’m on a crusade! In this exciting and radical digital age – we can join up information making sure we all know how to get the support we need. The village square in a large City is becoming a reality.