Our Approach and The Project's Uniqueness

We've been asked how we differ from other information services our there. Here's our response.

The unique qualities of this project are:

 

  1. It’s Comprehensive – we are not restricting the project to a particular theme (e.g. health, environment, social) or user group (e.g. children, older people) or locality. We are also not excluding any sector that provides help and support – so it will encompass informal & voluntary projects, charities, public sector and commercial providers.

    e.g. you should be able to find a range of options / providers / services for dementia care in an area, listing informal support groups, charity support options, and businesses that can provide help to people with dementia and their families/carers.
     
  2. It’s Holistic – the project will treat people as complete individuals with complex lives and needs. We aim to be able to signpost to related services if they’re available, not just deal with an individual (a) on their own or (b) as a single-issue person.

    e.g. carers often need lots of different support, respite care, personal support, have financial and housing needs, mobility issues, and more. They should be able to see how to access any or all of these aspects in one joined-up place.
     
  3. It’s Devolved – we want the participants and organisations in the project to have control over their own information and to push the administration and communication to the lowest grass roots we can. The project will help facilitate organic, word of mouth referrals and recommendations and encourage people to contribute at whatever level they can.

    e.g a small youth club or allotment association or ramblers group can add their own listings and events to the site, and maintain their own content and communications. This will enable them to keep in closer touch with other things that are happening, and be more personally in control of their own presentation to the community.
     
  4. It’s Independent – we aim to make the project self-sustaining and independent of any sector or organisation. This allows us to respond in a fast, pragmatic and flexible way to the needs that arise.

    e.g if an organisation or group wants help through additional site functionality, we can quickly evaluate this and deploy new services and opportunities as they’re needed. We can also quickly bring in or recommend other support from within or outside the county as it’s needed. We may also be able to focus collective endeavour to arrange and support joint projects with other agencies.
     
  5. It’s Pragmatic – the long experience of working in the sector means that we know that “good enough” is often more than good enough, and that perfection is never achievable. We will take a sensible course in developing the project, building in “bite-sized” chunks as each aspect of the project is identified, defined and delivered. Some aspects may require collaboration or special funding, others will happen organically. We also recognise that times, resources, interests and needs change over time. What we envisage on day one will be need to be responsive to change as time goes by, and systems developed at the start may not be needed for the full duration of the project. We’re lifelong learners and will continually seek to improve and develop services and solutions as opportunities allow.

    e.g. we don’t intend to duplicate effort if we can help it, or re-invent the wheel, therefore we’ll be alert to opportunities to partner with other services or agencies to provide the services we have in mind, and use our common sense to make the most of our effort by amplifying (and integrating where possible) the work of others. We don’t want to step on peoples’ toes!
     
  6. It's ambitious!
    We know that this is a big target, but we have experience of working with large projects and rapidly changing data and communications, plus we believe the scale of the need demands a big response.
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Further Reading

What's Next? Thoughts from our Project Road Map

We've made a note of some of the elements of our project that are in our plan, but maybe not yet implemented yet. They show the bigger picture of what we're doing, and some of the ideas for partnerships and collaboration that we have in mind.

Serving the Grass Roots

#HelpAndKindness is about supporting the grass-roots projects and organisations that work in the community, and making a positive difference to the resilience, sustainability, and sense of inclusion for those who are carrying out this work.

Digital Inclusion and Exclusion

We need to know that we are providing a service that has relevance to people at the margins of our society, those who are displaced, homeless, without status, as well as those who are “part of the mainstream”. We are exploring how we can address and reach these people and relate to their circumstances and need.

Plugging Data Gaps

As a largely digital project, the issue of data has been a key consideration in many of our conversations and plans for #HelpAndKindness. We are hoping that our project will help to fill in the picture where data is hard to gather, and difficult to measure.