Reasons for Help and Kindness
As with all big ideas, there's not just one particular reason behind our desire and drive to develop this project. It's the product of hundreds of hours of thinking and talking about all the good things people do, and the variety of ways in which we've worked with so many good people over the years.
Here are some of the ideas that have led us to build this project.
It's in our blood
Since we were teenagers we've freely given our time: we've worked with all sorts of people, and managed heaps of community projects. Starting out running youth clubs and residential youth work for teens and young adults, we've run community development projects in London, Sussex, Hampshire, Dorset and Surrey. Jon's set up bereavement projects, worked as a secondary school counsellor and co-run arts projects and events over the years. Nic has tutored home-schoolers, run community heritage events, supported toddlers and their parents through yoga and play, and has volunteered as a school governor, breastfeeding counsellor and peer supporter.
Within our paid work over almost 25 years we've followed our passion for supporting the community projects we've encountered. Through Jon's business, Alacrify ('to rouse up'), he has built websites and social media presence for community groups, charities, local and national events, membership organisations and clubs and voluntary sector organisations. Many of these projects have been largely or totally pro bono. Nic works within public sector archaeology and contributes knowledge, advice and experience to a large community within the heritage sector. She is a passionate campaigner for accessibility and equality, an advocate for women, a supporter and a mentor, as well as a long-standing Trade Union member.
We believe that people matter, and help and kindness matters.
If Not Now, When?
We have seen desperate damage being done to the communities we live in through austerity, financial cuts and cultural erosion. We've watched the rise of suspicion, tension and conflict among people and a massive increase in the needs of all kinds of people in our society. The margins have become wider with more people in poverty, more people falling between the gaps in service provision, and greater polarisation of opportunity between the rich and poor. We see the reduction in opportunities for education, personal development and work prospects, and inflammatory rhetoric that has crippled dialogue and collaboration to solve these problems. We see increasing isolation and disempowerment of people who want to make a contribution to the greater good, and the breakdown of many of the support networks that sustain these people of goodwill, as well as the people they seek to help.
We believe that the need to support and build our civil society is as great as it ever has been, and the threat of great hardship following Brexit will only put more stress and demands on the informal networks that support everyone in our communities, especially those that are most vulnerable. Only a strong civil society will enable us to manage this transition. We can't rely on governmental intervention to deal with these issues.
In our home county of Dorset we also see the Local Government Transition bringing enormous challenges to this network of goodwill. As service commissioners within the council are reorganised and made redundant, we can see their local knowledge being lost. We have also heard serious concerns about possible funding reductions and interruptions following the reorganisation. We've been in dialogue with the Dorset Transition Group and heard first hand from the organisations and individuals who feel their work may be in jeopardy if funding is lost or held up in the change. Protecting these services is hugely important - a matter of life and death in some circumstances - and we want to help.
We believe we can provide a service that can contribute to the growth and sustainability of these vital activities, and help to empower, champion and sustain the people and organisations that provide them. We believe that the years and years of experience and insight that we have gleaned from all the conversations we've had and the contacts we've made in this sector, along with the experience of building dozens of different online solutions for all sorts of applications, have put us in a great position to build something truly amazing and hopefully life- and culture-changing, to serve the people and organisations that provide such great services to our communities.
Get In Touch
If you'd like to get in touch to talk about this project we'd love to hear from you. We're always listening for ideas that can make it even better, and are looking to meet people who might be able to help or be helped by what we're doing, and we are keen to make sure it is as good as it can be.
Jon and Nicola