Tag: Kings Norton

Birmingham Social Media Surgeries

Lynn Horsnett and Nick Booth
Lynn Horsnett and Nick Booth at Kings Norton SMS

Over the last few years the social media surgery movement has spread further than anyone could have imagined at that first (and supposedly one off) event back in 2008.  There are now surgeries held in 70 different towns and cities all over the uk, and further beyond, in Australia, Canada, Switzerland and even Nepal to name but a few.

But, in the birth place of the Surgeries, Birmingham, there has been another spread happening -less global and more local,  into our communities. In the last 6 months we have been working with partners such as the local strategic partnership and the police across the city and with their support there have been surgeries in:

as well as the continued support for the Central Birminham sessions.

These surgeries have been able to support people where they live and work, to enable them to get online to support the good work that they are doing in their neighbourhoods.

Like Lol Thurstan for instance, he came along asking for help distributing his monthly Neighbourhood Watch newsletter and we helped him set up a blog. Lol is now already exploring the possiblilities of sharing more than just hisNeighbourhood Watch news with his community – taking the idea of a neighbourhood magazine and reproducing it online, and there’s Sandra Turner. Sandra wanted some support promoting her community centre and finding out what was going on in her area. We sat with her while she set up a facebook page and later a twitter account so now she can do just that – it’s enabled her to share information online and make connections with others in her area.

And we’re not done yet. There are more dates already set and hopefully still more to come.  We’d love to see you there whether it to receive some support or to offer your help. You can visit www.socialmediasurgery.com to register to attend any of these sessions, or find one nearer to you.


Using Social Media Surgeries to Improve Perceptions of Safety in Birmingham

At the moment we are in the middle of a project working with the South Birmingham Community Safety Partnership. This involves running social media surgeries across communities in South Birmingham to improve civic conversations in those areas, get the communities and local partners talking to each other and getting their news online and hopefully in doing so, positively changing their perceptions of safety.

In the video below we took 5 minutes   to catch up with Austin Rodriguez the Safer Places Officer with Birmingham South Community Safety Partnership to tell us what they were hoping to achieve and what outcomes he’s seen from the project so far…..




Hawksley Young Volunteers: A new podcast on the Grassroots Channel

Shirley Malone, Gemma ONeill and Aimee Coakley of the Hawkesley Young Volunteers in Kings Norton - Birmingham.
Shirley Malone, Gemma O’Neill and Aimee Coakley of the Hawkesley Young Volunteers in Kings Norton – Birmingham.

Aimee Coakley first came across the Hawksley “young vols” as a small child.  She watched them working in her neighbourhood in Kings Norton in Birmingham and wanted to be one.

Thanks to that experience she has traveled as far afield as France and India, cleaned streets, helped people keep their gardens tidy and supporting friends and neighbours.  Now she has a job because of her volunteer experience. Hers is just one of dozens of stories which explain why the Hawksley Young Volunteers were shortlisted for a Local Hearts Awards in October 2009.  For more, listen to the podcast below.

Generating Market Forces

Programme 18 talks to Duncan Ross and John Bodycote from Kings Norton Farmers Market about why they chose to become a community interest company, the value of the farmers market and a few provocative thoughts on the link between local politics and social enterprise.
Kings Norton Farmers Market
National Association of Farmers Markets
UnLtd The Charity which supports Social Entrepreneurs
New Economics Foundation on markets (dead link)
Bcen briefing on community interest companies (dead link)
Cic Regulator

If you enjoyed this story you might also like an earlier programme, The Garden Fence to Natter Over, which tells the story of how Neville Lilly has used allotments in Handsworth to revive parts of his community