“52% of our citizens help out in their community at least 3 times a year. To make community action more accessible, we have opened the website, Can-Do Bristol, a digital platform designed purely for communities to help themselves, connecting people and businesses to projects looking for help.”
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol
Can Do Bristol is a solution for social action that is underpinned by our platform. The platform was originally intended to support the City Council’s citywide volunteering strategy – an initiative from the community development team to connect volunteers with volunteering opportunities at a city scale. However, the full range of Made Open features has opened up new possibilities for creating a functional region that is drawing interest from both community and economic development teams within the Council, as well as a number of partners from the voluntary and private sectors.
The platform enables anyone and everyone in the city to share ideas, volunteer, pledge resources to projects and earn time credits. The 'Bristol Reading in Schools' project alone has successfully crowdsourced 250 volunteers, mostly people of retirement age, to help children from years 1, 2 and 3 (5, 6 and 7 year olds) who have fallen behind with their reading. These volunteers commit many days to improving children's confidence and overall reading skills, encouraging a love of reading.
A key challenge for Bristol City Council, and the city as a whole, is to accelerate practical solutions such as these where local resources are mobilised, and indeed rewarded, to meet immediate needs. Our vision for a collaborative cross-sector approach has been instrumental in helping the Council to develop their thinking in this area; and our engagement with key stakeholders has helped to shape the ‘Can Do Bristol’ approach.
Please note: version 2 of Can Do Bristol will be going live later in 2019.