As everyone is frantically planning their new year’s resolutions, I thought I’d take the opportunity to celebrate how many brilliant online community networking organisations there are across the UK.  If you’re at a loss and are looking for some (perhaps slightly London centric) ways to increase your participation in the big society next year, have a look at some of these crackers:

Your Square Mile: This neighbourhood networks website combines many of the nationwide online networks including volunteering database Do It and street scene reporting site Fix my Street all of which are laid on an interactive map so you can see projects and issues taking place right outside your front door.  This also has the great features including links to your local newspaper, information about your local police force and original ideas for community cohesion.

Casserole Club:  I think this organisation is fantastic!  If you make too much supper one night you don’t need to throw it out – why not share it with a neighbour?  All you need to do is sign up and whenever you feel the desire to share you can take a picture of your food and post the offer of a meal online.  Frequent users can even pair up with a local elderly person to provide a meal on a regular basis. 

Islington Giving: This charity aims to bridge the gap between rich and poor in Islington – a borough with some of London’s most affluent residents yet the second highest level of child poverty in England.  As well as encouraging local philanthropy, the organisation acts as a hub for local organisations to advertise for volunteers for Islington related projects.  Pick a project of your choice from tutoring to keeping an elderly person company.

Southwark Circle:  A social enterprise with the goal of uniting neighbours to help each other out by doing odd jobs.  Join as a member or sign up to volunteer – you can either offer your time for free or be paid the national minimum wage.  Members can use tokens to pay for a range of tasks from gardening to learning a foreign language.  There is also a handy calendar to keep you in the loop with local social events.

Ministry of Thrift: Need help managing your finances?  Ministry of Thrift offers a range of financial tools, a directory of different support services if you are having financial difficulties and fun stationary to help you save.  They also offer information about your local credit unions if you decide to store your money more locally.

This list is very short and not at all exhaustive but will hopefully provide you with some localism themed Christmas cheer!  If you know of any good local networking sites please feel free to share below.

Lastly, we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – Happy Christmas from BDO!


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