Digital hubs for communities in crisis
Communities everywhere are self-organising to support people left vulnerable by coronavirus and help regenerate local economies. We are working with partners to provide a social Web platform that empowers local organisations and local people to deliver a safe future for their community.
Give each community an interactive website, linked to social media, where people can get their lives on an upwards track by making a wellness plan from community resources and a personal support network to help implement it
Give community organisations permission to keep the data they publish up to date, reducing the administration burden for central teams
Capture data on resource usage, effectiveness, and user feedback to track the impact of different organisations and services, as well as to analyse gaps and overlaps in provision
If You Can't Measure It, You Can't Manage It
Use community resources effectively, by allowing community organisations to publish up-to-date information online and track the impact of their services
Prevent Data Loss
Ensure data is secure and subject to regulations, by using a robust Web platform with controls over what users can see and do
Connect Providers With Clients
Reduce costs for social traders and other community organisations, by helping them use the Web and social media to target and reach local clients
Keep The Community In The Loop
Share updates with the community, by letting them enter new and changed services in a central Web platform automatically linked to social media
Make Services Sticky
Encourage people to use services from social traders and other community organisations, by letting them track what they use and give feedback
Make Decisions Based On Evidence
Measure the impact of local initiatives and assess gaps/overlaps in service provision, by analysing feedback from community members
If your community would like its own digital hub or you would like to help with this initiative, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
TOWN DIGITAL HUB
Manage life issues with local help
The free web platform for volunteer supported wellness planning
Andrew Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England, 2014
Whether seen from an economic or social perspective, volunteering is big business, with annual turnover well into three-figure billions. But it is a well-hidden jewel, whose social worth is rarely the subject of a public valuation.
Ernst & Young, 2016
When social costs are considered the programme returns [from volunteer advocacy are] £7 for every £1 invested ... Across a range of conditions the opportunity is vast.
Social Care Institute for Excellence, 2016
Taken together, [the Care Act, Children and Families Act, and NHS Five Year Forward View in 2014] form a policy programme which promotes citizenship and community as the foundation on which local health and social care systems are built. Volunteering and social action are at the heart of this programme.
Help others learn to self-manage their wellness
Show people how to create a holistic wellness plan from local resources and share it with their personal support network
Problems such as isolation, weight/fitness, criminality, and employability often have complex underlying causes that people cannot redress unaided. Social prescribing and other public sector outreach schemes may recommend community assets such as coffee mornings and clubs but, without addressing such causes, clients in the most need will continue to have poor quality of life and make extended use of public services.
The problem is particularly acute for people who are transitioning from a major life change such as bereavement or discharge from an institution (armed force, prison, hospital, children's home, detention centre, or educational establishment). Services to aid such transition have limited resources, which they could make better use of by focusing less on delivery of one-off recommendations and more on coordination of sustained volunteer support.
Social Return on Investment from advocacy is 3 times the maximum from social prescribing, but professional advocacy is expensive. Town Digital Hub is a web platform that unlocks the massive potential of volunteer resources by enabling peer-to-peer support in self-management of wellness. Volunteer advocates, with professional coordination and safeguarding, help others create a holistic personal wellness plan from community assets and other resources including professional services, share it with people/organisations that support them, track progress using standard self-assessment tools, and provide feedback on the effectiveness of resources for specific purposes.
People need less and less support over time, in many cases going on to coach others in wellness planning. Data from wellness plans is aggregated/anonymised to inform smart investment into local infrastructure. Community, professional providers, and commissioners become part of a virtuous circle of community engagement, resilience, and regeneration.
Deal with your personal life issues effectively
Make a holistic wellness plan that embeds you into a caring, sharing local support network
Measure your progress towards wellness
See your wellness journey in simple pictures
Share your wellness plan with those who support you
Work together effectively with all those who help you
Help others with their own wellness
Help other people make wellness plans and get involved with your community
Give your community feedback on your experiences
Help everyone improve what is available locally by removing gaps and overlaps
Maintain online information about community assets and volunteering opportunities with which you are involved
and reduce administration costs by offering online services such as tickets for appointments/events