An Open Letter To All Elected MPs, Regional & Local Councils And Councillors
We know that your job is not always easy.
Newspapers and social media are awash with stories of a variety of crisies on a daily basis. Whether it is the NHS, Mental Health, Isolation, Homelessness, debt ... The list is endless and many people are fearful and uncertain for the future.
Part of this fear emanates from reports of welfare cuts that are putting a strain on hundreds of thousands of people across the country; a proportion of whom are in your community.
Cuts create even more challenges for people with already ‘tight’ budgets. Job losses, relationship breakdowns, increased poverty for children and the elderly are all very real fears and the knock on effects will be far reaching within communities.Poverty is said to be costing the UK £78 Billion a year and disconnected communities another £32 Billion.
What does that mean for you? More people will be actively seeking support within your community and this will put further strains on your resources, facilities and budgets.
Did you know that there are nearly 200,000 registered charities, across the UK, who provide essential support for those in crisis or need? And yet even though the world has never been more connected by technology there is no one place that brings them together so that they can be searched for and found based on location and need. This seems ridiculous considering the fact that you can go to Google Maps, type in a town or city and instantly receive a list of hotels or restaurants allowing you to make an informed decision.
Those charities and community projects will be needed more than ever in these times of austerity. We have already seen the reports from The Trussell Trust on the alarming rise of foodbank usage in the last year which is a clear signal of this and that is just one aspect of rising need.
A registered CIC, If Everyone Cares, has been working on a solution to this - they are building Ododow - The Interactive Community Map.
Specifically Ododow - The Interactive Map will:
- Pinpoint local charities, non-profits and community projects in YOUR community
- Connect those who need help with those provide it
- Signpost those who want to help to projects that need support
- Facilitate collaboration and connection between existing projects
- Encourage businesses to support projects within their locality.
Thereby forging stronger community links.
Ododow will be FREE to use 24/7 365 days a year for individuals and agencies alike.
Ododow - will be that missing link within communities. It will help people in need to find the help and support that is available to them with just a few clicks of a button. People will be less isolated and more connected.
It will also enable support groups to work in a more integrated fashion as the knowledge and connections given through Ododow will facilitate active referrals between groups so that the person in need can get all the help they require from the right specialists at the right time. This will therefore reduce the individual’s anguish at their time of need and will speed up the time it takes for someone to recover from their individual crisis.
Let’s Talk About Potential Savings To Local & Regional Councils (and The Country as a Whole).
There are just over 400 local and regional councils across the UK. If just one person from each of those areas found help, through Ododow™, to get back into work then it would generate an average saving of £15,500 per person (£7000 of that being the average saved by local councils). That is a saving in excess of £6.2 Million. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to say 10 people per area, per year which is a saving of £62 Million per year UK wide.
These figures do not include the savings that will be made by other Statutory and Non-Statutory Services. For Example – NHS (eg: hospitals, GP’s and prescription charges), Education, Prison Service, Social Services, Police, and more. They also don't include savings for local councils and agencies in man hours - If people can access information easily to the support that is available to them then behind the counter advisors can be aware of where to direct people in need - at the click of a button.
The positive effects will not only be financial, they will help people in general, improve quality of life, reduce stress and anxiety, more stable relationships, increased confidence and self-esteem, more stability for children, less isolation and so much more. All of which will benefit communities and society as a whole.
So what is the cost of a project like this?
In the grand scheme of things - very little. If each of those local and regional councils was to make a contribution of £1000-£2000 a year for the next 3 years then Ododow would be up and running. It would work across the country, with no borders or discrimination. It would be a resource for all - individuals and agencies alike.
After the first 3 years Ododow should be self funding - through a variety of means, including the creation of a membership platform called The Community Pledge which will support, encourage and enable businesses to shout about the good that they are doing within communities; It will become a unique symbol of trust instantly showing the commitment between a business & its community; a way for businesses to generate customer loyalty & increase brand awareness through a platform that inspires more companies to be a Force for Good.
Taking positive action now to get more support out into your community WILL make a huge difference to those who need help.
When we all actively support collaborative and integrated approaches we will reduce people suffering. Collectively and locally it’s time to support each other in these times of change – we all have a part to play.
Before you say “that’s not my job” please remember this:
This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.
Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job.
Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realised that Everybody wouldn’t do it.
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.
In your role you are in the key position to take positive actions that will benefit the whole of society, with no discrimination, with no one left out or left behind.
Founder of If Everyone Cares and A Grandma-In-Tech who believes that:
Together We Can
Together We Will
Create the Change That We Want To See
About the Author
Jaki is the founder of If Everyone Cares CIC. After meeting hundreds of people who had been unable to find help & support when they were facing a crisis she decided it was a 'problem she wanted to be part of solving'. She is now part of a, small but dedicated, team who are creating Ododow - The Interactive Community Map to pin-point the UK's 200,000+ Charities & Community Projects - Ododow.org.