We received this email from someone who came to one of our first social media surgeries:
I work as volunteer artworker for a mental health resource centre. My job is to run activities groups and oversee the art room for the people who use our service. Recently the management mentioned using social media and by coincedence I had just heard about the Social Media Surgery via my friend Andrew Brightwell.
I attended two Surgeries with Andrew and Susie and was initially given advice on which applications to use. I went back for further in-depth advice on Twitter and reported back to my managers. I was asked to present to the full staff and then also to our Directors.
As a result of these presentations the social media project was approved and since then I’ve been producing and moderating content for Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Tumblr. As an aside, the Directors and Management have advised me that they are applying for funding to make me a paid member of staff with responsibility for social media to promote our business, particularly to young people.
Thanks so much to the Surgery for your time and sound advice. Not only has it made a huge difference to our business and our profile, it may have helped me get a paid position after a long period of unemployment, something I’d not anticipated. I’m very grateful.
Thank you to Sarah Morgan for this post about the Hove social media surgery
Today’s Hove Social Media Surgery showed how the internet can help vulnerable people. Katie came along hoping to get her Mental Health Day Centre onto Twitter. Twitter is a great way for the voluntary and community sector to gather news. The internet has made it easier for people to find help, and a key function of charity Twitter accounts is letting people know there are organisations out there to listen. For Katie Twitter would help the Mental Health Day Centre get in contact with other like-minded organisations and talk to a wider audience without the traditional buffers.
Katie’s organisation is just the kind of project the social media surgeries were designed for, and the steps taken by the centre showed the team that more voluntary groups are getting online. The Big White Wall website, which currently has 7000 users, is being used by more and more local health authorities. Users can type their worries onto ‘the Wall’ anonymously and the site is monitored, so someone is always listening.
If you think your organisation’s message should be spread to a wider audience, or your community group could do with some more supporters, come along to the next surgery and see how we can help you.
(Sarah Morgan www.brightasabutton.wordpress.com @sarah_morgan90)
This evening’s social media surgery was an overview of blogging and linking blogs to Facebook and Twitter. There was lots of discussion, rather than set ups and things created. We got into the fine detail of the way that social media works and how to campaign and build networks. Everyone was already using social media but finding that it was not doing what they wanted. Andrew’s advice was about getting it working and achieving what they wanted.
Hangleton Community Centre welcomed us for our first Hangleton evening surgery and it was a busy evening. Our two surgeon’s Andrew Brightwell and Nick Packham worked flat out, building WordPress websites and creating twitter accounts.
The Hangleton and Knoll Project (one of the We Live Here partner organisations) are now on twitter @HKP_Info.
The Hangleton Community Centre had a look at the option of using WordPress for website that is easier to maintain and Lizzie from Hangleton Holistics came to see how she can best keep in touch with all the people who are interested in her treatments and how she can build on her already busy Facebook group.
Hangleton Fun for Families also has a vibrant Facebook group but wanted to look at the best way of communicating with all their families.
And local councillors Dawn Barnett and Tony Janio popped in to see how it was all going.
Today I met people from the Oromo community. With a little help from Google, I find that Oromo people come from an area that it is southern Ethiopia, Somalia and northern Kenya. but many are now dispersed around the world including Brighton and Hove. I heard all about the community, the events they arrange and about customs such as how weddings are celebrated and traditional dances. Football is a particular passion.
At our social media surgeries we are working with the Oromo community to help them create a website http://oromobh.wordpress.com/ and tell their story.
This post was written by Andrew Brightwell on his blog.
Last night I attended the first ever Brighton Social Media Surgery – a rather special if small event that marks an important landmark for a number of reasons.
- For one, it’s the start of an important phase of the We Live Here project which is aiming to usher in a new relationship between the public, voluntary and community sectors in Brighton and Hove.
- It’s also one of the first surgeries to have taken place since the Social Media Surgeries were honoured with a Prime Minister’s Big Society Award.
- And, from a personal perspective, it feels like it rubber-stamps by big-money transfer to Public-i from Podnosh – the firm that through the enormous largesse, industry and general brilliance of its creator, Nick Booth, has made the surgeries the success they are.
OK, so I was slightly lying about ‘big money’ bit, but the rest is absolutely true – and being involved in social media surgeries (which I first blundered into in Fazeley Studios in Birmingham – as it happens without a computer and could only lend a hand moving the desks) has been a source of enormous enjoyment and reward for me. So getting the chance to become involved as a surgeon in my new home town is, frankly, fabulous.
Enough of the gushing… Now for the surgery…
The We Live Here project will be holding surgeries in the three pilot communities it’s running in. Two of these, Hangleton and Knoll and Brunswick and Regency, are geographical; the third, the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in Brighton is obviously rather harder to define.
For that reason, Susie Latta – the surgery organiser, held the first one in the Black and Minority Ethnic Community Partnership building, which is at 10A Fleet Street. Here’s a map!
We sat in the foyer of the BMECP and, while I was a little late, Anthony Zacharzewski was able to help out three patients with Twitter (that’s Anthony in the picture above) – with this account for for Forward Facing created. Please give ‘em a follow!
When Anthony went, I took over and helped Bert Williams of Brighton and Hove Black History to learn a little more about how he’d be able to use QR codes as part of his work. Bert holds tours of our city that devle into the remarkable role people of different ethnic backgrounds have played in Brighton’s history. As ever, being a surgeon was as much a learning experince as it was an opportunity to impart my own knowledge: I found out from Bert that – much to my surprise – the Emperor Haile Selassie of Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) had visited Brighton while in exile!
For details of surgeries visit the Social Media Surgery website.
I went to interview Burt Williams MBE about black and ethnic minority communities in Brighton and Hove for We Live Here and came out with a different view on the city. Bert runs the black history project in Brighton and tells wonderful stories. Like how the Pavillion, Dome and some other city buildings were converted into hospitals for Indian troops during World War I.
Wounded Indian soldiers at the Dome
The Chattri Memorial
The Chattri memorial on the Downs was built to remember those soldiers who were cremated there
And the story of Sake Dean Mahomed, the Indian Muslim doctor who came to study in Ireland; married an Irish lady; set up the first Indian restaurant and takeaway in London and became George IV’s personal surgeon after setting up a steam bath in Brighton with amazing health giving effects. And the stories of the West Indian nurses who came to Brighton to work for the newly formed NHS. For more information go to http://www.black-history.org.uk/ and Chattri website http://www.chattri.com/
As part of the project we are walking the communities to get a feel and photographing the places as we go. It is not possible to put a pin on a map to pinpoint the view that you get from the top of St Helen’s Park, Hangleton so I thought it better write about it and show my photos. Can there be many places that you can look out over snow-capped Downs one way and see the light shimmering on the sea the other way? My photo doesn’t do it justice. It was truly beautiful.
Also at the top of Hangleton there is a walk called the Dyke Railway Trail and you can walk all the way to Devils Dyke. It follows the route of the old branchline and so the walk is quite gentle. For more details see http://www.ruralways.org.uk/cycling/routes/detail/333