11th June 2012

Find out about the GeoVation Finalists


Over a couple of weeks we’ve been giving you more information on the ideas that are going forward to the ‘How can we transform neighbourhoods in Britain together?’ GeoVation Showcase.   On Friday we told you about Come To Your Senses and Schools in Transition,  today, you can find out more about  Community Animation Mapping Strengths and Assets and Community Payback Visibility.  If you’d like to see the ideas pitch for a share of £115,000 in funding at Ordnance Survey on 20 June- sign up for your free ticket.

Community Animation Mapping Strengths and Assets
RE:generate is an enterprising social action charity with a mission to enhance participation that catalyses change, improves lives and transforms neighbourhoods.

For over 20 years RE:generate has been animating and organising networks of customers, clients, activists, social entrepreneurs, volunteers and voters who transform their communities for good. The Trust has challenged, informed and facilitated the development of hundreds of projects and organisations in villages, towns and cities across Britain.

In the current financial climate the need for engaging, galvanising and supporting communities to tackle some of the problems that they face for themselves couldn’t be greater.

Using our systematic process, Root Solution – Listening Matters, of building community capacity, we will meet 600 people from each and every identified neighbourhood in our partner Authorities and we will unearth the latent strengths, skills and talents of local people. That is 60000 new untapped resources. We will map these digitally using detailed Ordnance Survey maps on our bespoke software.

We will then support and enable the formation of neighbourhood groups and teams that can start to use the identified strengths and assets of communities to develop actions and initiatives that meet the needs of local people.

Using this data we will support local people to engage with statutory services, organisations and agencies so that they can collaboratively explore alternative ways of working that are about supporting and enabling communities to take control of, co-design and enhance service delivery models to deliver better services for a lot less money!

The GeoVation challenge prize will build the digital element of our process and Ordnance Survey data will be used to create the street level, detailed maps that will be used to digitally map the skills, assets and talents of communities.

Community Payback Visibility

At Staffordshire & West Midlands Probation Trust, we arrange and supervise Community Payback projects. This is the unpaid work carried out by offenders on community sentences. It must be challenging, constructive and benefit local neighbourhoods. Projects might range from cleaning graffiti or fly-tipping to clearing dense undergrowth or canals.

Our idea is a free mobile app that makes it easier for the public to Community Payback Visibility nominate sites for Community Payback and track the progress on a website.

People would take a geo-tagged photo of a “grotspot” in their local area and the app sends it directly to their local Probation Trust. Ordnance Survey basemaps would display the GPS location on the phone, which the user could manually adjust to provide pinpoint accuracy. Knowing the exact spot and being able to see the nomination would make it far easier for the Trust to locate and assess a site for its suitability for Community Payback.

Not all nominations would be suitable, but Staffordshire & West Midlands Probation Trust would provide feedback, even for those submitted anonymously by a link to a webpage where people could follow progress.

Suitable projects would be posted on a map on the website, which would also hold information on how to download and use the app, plus guidelines on what makes a suitable Community Payback project.

Staffordshire & West Midlands Probation trust would add photos of work being done, cleaned-up sites and – crucially – information and feedback from the offenders on their experiences.

In a nutshell, we hope to develop a map-based tapestry of local stories – all based around very specific geographic points – which would make the public feel more engaged in decision-making and make the punishment and rehabilitation of offenders more visible and meaningful to people in their communities.

Jason Davies,  Staffordshire & West Midlands Probation Trust