One man is not enough

This blog explains the simple philosophy behind the Made Open platform, drawing on a few examples from Can Do Bristol.

Gandhi once wrote: "It is clear that one man is not enough for this work. Many must come forward to help him." He could so easily have been talking about institutions as well.

Community responses to COVID-19 have shown that when people and institutions work together around a shared goal, greater things can happen than when they work alone. As an enabling technology, our platform was made for moments like this.

This week, Sandra Gordon's “Time with Divine” radio show on Umija radio celebrated Volunteers Week in Bristol and talked about the effect of the Can Do Bristol platform during COVID-19. Here’s a few quotes from the show:

It’s been phenomenal. Over 7 to 8 weeks, Can Do Bristol went from a membership of around 1,000 members to 8,700 members. 3,968 people volunteered for the COVID-19 response. We currently have 1,100 activated volunteers. 8,718 residents are being supported by our hotline and 3,859 are receiving person-to-person volunteering support. We have 15,281 people who are being shielded. Every single one of those people were contacted. And that’s just what we have (recorded) from the Can Do Bristol website. People have helped out of the kindness of their heart. I’ve never seen anything like it. Bristol has stepped up to the plate.

Cllr Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor, Bristol City Council

I had two calls from construction companies asking, “how can we get involved in community and how can we put our staff forward to provide support as part of our organisation or as individuals?”. When I signposted them to Can Do Bristol they were just amazed. Because for some people, they have a day job, they go home, they have children and whatever else, they don’t have time to shift away from that unless they are signposted to a clear thing that will give them the clear inputs they want. They just want to get in and get out, and that’s what the Can Do Bristol platform has been able to do for those people leading a very busy life. They want to do some good - either financially or through their skills, or through something that fits into the social value of their organisation. When they see something, they’re like ‘I’m gonna support that cause, I’m gonna take my business and support that’. That’s what the platform has done.

Sibusiso Tshabalala, Black South West Network (registered charity)

I’ve discovered a lot of strength and resilience in the community actually, and discovered how diverse it is. It’s been nice to meet my neighbours and the people that live in the street behind me. You just realise that Brislington is its own bustling hive of activity. And I’ve found it really interesting to see how much people want to offer their time and want to get involved in supporting people in their community. People have so many skills to share and so much energy to offer. It’s been fantastic to see what’s out there.

Bristol resident and Can Do Bristol volunteer

Three perspectives, one goal - to meet the needs of people and their communities.

Visit www.candobristol.co.uk


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