Ways you can help your community

Week notes 17 April 2020

Posted on 17 April, 2020

This week... 

  • Helping those need support  

  • Bringing locally relevant groups to every communities  

  • Site architecture and design refresh  

  • ‘How to’ guides to help communities during coronavirus  

  • Growing online activities

Our vision 

For people that care about their community 

Who want to join forces to get things done  

Co-operate is a national community centre for co-operation  

That connects people in and across communities with one another to make things happen 

Unlike a physical community centre restricted by geography and funding, or a community digital platform distracted by monetisation  

Our product is created with communities, for communities, and is owned by communities 

The lockdown may mean communities cannot come together in person, but our mission - to help people make good things happen in communities - has never been more crucial.  

We want to start a new cooperation movement across each community in the UK. 

Read more on our updated About page. 

We launched a service where you can offer and receive support, here are the numbers so far: 

🙋🏽4,886 people have told us they want to help collect food, medication or have a friendly chat with those who need it  

👋553 people have told us they want help with collecting food, medication or need a friendly chat 

Helping those who need support now 

We’re focused on getting support to those who are most vulnerable and in need of everyday essentials such as food, medication or a friendly phone call. Working closely with CBS and the Community Shared Value team, Jo wrote a second email to our vulnerable database offering them a way to pay for their shopping over the phone by purchasing a Co-op gift card, as we know that payment is one of the biggest challenges.  

For now, we will also direct them to local groups in their community who can offer support in these three areas. These groups have been recommended to us through our Member Pioneers, local Causes and Local Authorities. Michael has made sure that each email is personalised with a dynamic URL. This takes each user through to a list of resources based on the postcode they gave us - making it even easier for those in need of help, to find help.

Read more about how we’re ‘bringing locally relevant resources to every community’ below.  

Matching vulnerable people to a volunteer  

We ran a trial with GoodGym to support vulnerable people in the areas they had coverage. It was a success and the vulnerable person had shopping on their doorstep just 10 hours after calling CBS to purchase a gift card. 

GoodGym could support 20% of our database through their geographical coverage, but with our own growing database of volunteers we could support over 95%. We’re currently working on the best solution to match our volunteers to those who need support on a one-to-one level. 

Bringing locally relevant resources to every community  

We’ve been working with Member Pioneers, Local Causes and Local Authorities to collect a list of local groups, charities and organisations who are supporting communities. We created a simple Smartsurvey for each group and gave them a short timeframe for them to fill it out. The response was really good as we now have the data for over 1,000 local groups and schemes across the UK. 

Fred has been working on listing all local groups and schemes that we have gathered in a local area with a dedicated a group page containing their contact information. It’s simple but it will help people find what they need more quickly by collating it all in place. You can now also filter by need (e.g. food delivery) and postcode, listing everything in order of distance. 

A massive thank you to our Member Pioneers and Co-ordinators, our Local Causes (past and present) and Emma from The Co-op Party for helping us get all this information so quickly.    There is much we can do with this listing, such as keeping it up to date, adding more information, more groups. Hopefully it can be the start of something more enduring on Co-operate. 

Site information architecture and Design refresh  

We’ve been working this week on preparing a lot of things whilst the dev team is busy building the automation of emails and content into the site.  

We’ve been looking at how the inspiring stories would be added to the site: 

Ryan also explored how the navigation would be updated for the short-term to really reflect the proposition of the site – Activity listings and Offer and Request Support being the focus areas:  

Marisa was busy exploring how the design of the site could evolve but we’ll keep it hidden until we had a design crit next week. 

Leila has been busy mapping the whole service, so if you’d like a sneakpeak at a service map in Miro, have a look:  

‘How to’ guides to help communities during coronavirus  

Top performing guides 

How to volunteer safely 

How to stay healthy and entertained at home 

How to set up an online activity  

Our ‘How to’ guides were some of the first content we put live 4 weeks ago. The page views are pretty good but the average time on page shows their success. People are actually reading them. 

We started off with 3 and now have 10 thanks to great work from Catherine, Jo and Rachel.  

New ones added this week: 

How to look after your mental wellbeing 

How to keep fit during lockdown 

How to keep your child entertained 

Others we’re working on based on what we’ve heard from our users: 

  • How to find cooking and baking inspiration 

  • How to learn new skills 

  • How to enjoy the arts at home 

  • How to find activities for over 50s 

  • How to meet new people 

Online activities update 

To recap, we went from listing physical events in Leeds and Trafford to listing online activities across the UK almost overnight. 

So we have been improving the user experience so that people can find their local online activities more easily, by adding a way for users to filter by location. 

We’ve also made the proposition a lot clearer on the ‘Add an activity’ form: 

The location field is now mandatory, to make sure that the filtering works. 

We’re now working out how we can show activities that are run across regions, for which the way we’ve set up our filtering won’t provide useful results for users. 

Hope you have a good week everyone. 

The Co-operate team  

Posted by Jen on 17 April, 2020