Teaming up with BBC volunteers for the Central Birmingham Social Media Surgeries

Karen Slater of the BBC helps  Prinith de Alwis Jayasinghe of Home from Hospital Care.
Karen Slater of the BBC helps Prinith de Alwis Jayasinghe of Home from Hospital Care. Image: Francis Clarke – click on the picture for his website.

We’ve been running the Social Media Surgery in Central Birmingham for the best part of 5 years.  Last night we took a leaf out of Manchester’s book and teamed up with the BBC.  Steven Flower and the BBC Outreach team having been working together in Salford to bring both volunteer bloggers and volunteers from the BBC together to help at the surgeries.  We did the same last night with BBC Birmingham.  19 people turned up – although we can always do with more people looking for help.

Karen Slater from the BBC worked with Prinith de Alwis Jayasinghe from Home from Hospital Care – a charity which helps pave the way for people to get home from hospital – cutting down on bed-blocking. Prinith said

“Karen taught me about audioboo and how we can record interviews with our clients. We also talked about how we could use blogging on our webpage.”

but the video gives a much better idea of what they got out of it:

Zualfqar Hussain of the Small Heath Community Forum received help to set up this facebook page

Small Heath Community Forum on facebook.
Small Heath Community Forum on facebook.


But this video shows exactly how he gets the point of the social media surgeries

What next?  I’ll talk to Paul Corcoran and others at the BBC about us maybe doing more of these together and get back with dates.

I think it’s good news for the surgeries because extra volunteers will help plus the pull of an organsiation like the BBC, good news for the BBC because it connects their staff with more of the brilliant people who help Birmignham tick and good news for the charities and community groups we want to support – because it helps them with social media support and new connections into the BBC.





  1. Once we’d found our way through the Mailbox (not very accessible to those with limited vision!) we found a great welcome, I was particularly impressed with the outreach chap who was making sure everyone had a cuppa, engaging with everyone and clearing up at the end. It was good to meet some different people and I hope this link-up happens again.

    • Bridget Morris says:

      Liz was a great help on our way through the Mailbox. I am elderly and partially sighted and getting to the 7th floor was certainly a challenge made worthwhile by the warmth of the welcome and the excellence of the volunteer. Ironically, I blog about accessibility for people with low vision and she helped me link to Twitter. Incidentally, how do people in wheelchair get up there?!

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