I’ve been out and about in Epsom and Ewell, meeting lots of people, attending Christmas fairs, driving the wrong way into a tip on my way to the depot, helping the police with their enquiries, petting dogs while chatting to their owners, clearing ditches and laying hedges (more on that later). All of this in service of Help Out.
So what is Help Out. It’s a new approach to helping people help out in their local environment. It’s a web based application that will:
- visualise the existing work that volunteers do keeping town and countryside well maintained
- help people identify possible opportunities to help – either in group activities and planned tasks or in single one-off activities they can do on their own, like litter picking
- help groups publicise and recruit people to planned tasks – such as countryside management or group activities in parks and neighbourhoods, like a street cleaning or a graffiti clear-up ‘party’
- provide a place that individuals can report defects in the environment or opportunities to make things better.
We’re excited by how well the technical development is coming along. The site looks great and should be ready to be unveiled soon. And we’re developing a series of tests with real users and practitioners to see how it all works and how Help Out can be used to contribute to making Surrey even lovelier.