I quickly became excited by this idea and jumped at the chance to instigate something for Norwich. Having previously worked in mental health and employment & training, I have seen how very well-intentioned and hard-working organisations do the best they can for the people or groups they aim to help, with extremely stretched resources. However I often also wondered why they didn't work together more.
We could take an example from ants. They use the soil surface to leave pheromone trails that can be followed by other ants. In species that forage in groups, a forager that finds food marks a trail on the way back to the colony; this trail is followed by other ants who then reinforce the trail when they head back with food to the colony. A lesson to us all, though we already know that two heads are better than one, a problem shared is a problem halved and 'No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main'. The ants, it seems, had it figured out long ago.
Earlier this week I launched a new online forum (go to http://www.norwichcc.tk/), which will be one way for organisations (or indeed, any local groups, businesses or individuals who want to make connections) to communicate their ideas, ask for and offer help with a range of things, limited only by what people want and what people can offer. To me, that seems a very broad spectrum indeed, as it could encompass health, well-being, the environment, the arts, crafts, recycling, sustainability, growing, disability, youth, community, talks and demonstrations and so much more. The online method is a mere starting point, how wonderful if it were to become so much more 'real', with its members actually meeting with each other, talking and collaborating.
The site is now up in beta, please do join and suggest it to anyone you think may find it interesting or useful. Feedback and suggestions very welcome and please do tell me if you do have any issues so I can try to correct them. Currently the site piggy-backs on the server for my Wombling website and I shall move the site over to a dedicated server as it develops and grows.
No more island loneliness.
Sources: Goldy Sunset by ryandws, 'No Man is an Island' John Donne.