Community Service

For the last issue of SE4 Magazine, irritated by the occasional anonymous troll berating our readers for being armchair activists, we wrote an article about the power of the internet to effect change.

We believe that it's a false dichotomy to suggest that there are people who "do things" and people who "talk about things". Talking is sometimes doing, as the campaign to save the Rivoli showed. Political clout is magnified by popular support, as The Telegraph Hill Society has demonstrated. And sometimes, people who talk can also do, as was shown on Sunday when Kate and five other Brockley Central readers joined the stalwarts of the Brockley Cross Action Group to clear up the area around the station.

Their work to improve the station is important, inspiring and so unglamourous that the group were at one stage asked by a passing girl if they were doing community service. Which of course, they were. Thanks to everyone who went - here's Kate's report:

"The Brockley station clear-up took place on Sunday and was a great success. At least 13 people turned up, including several BC readers, and we enjoyed the afternoon sunshine while filling over 10 big bags with rubbish, litter and weeds.

"The Common was denuded of tin cans and fast food wrappings, and the flowerbeds next to platform 2 were tidied up, including removing about a zillion cigarette butts. If any BC readers are among those thoughtless souls who drop litter or fag-ends around the station, please bear in mind that if I ever see you doing so, I will hunt you down and make YOU spend the afternoon picking it all up again."

Maradoll has also written about the day here.

On another note, the problem of free newspapers dumped on the floor beside the recycling bins outside Brockley Station seems to have improved lately - but please remember to take your paper home with you if the bins are full.


jon s said...

Let's look at the whole chess board.............

Whether talking is doing or not, it creates a critical mass of identity and awareness, which has spillover effects into doing.

Examples of doing from the site include:
- A forum for community interaction allocating microfinance, e.g. Cameras vs trees.
- the reviews of local establishments increasing their passing trade.
- The free market analysis provided to local businesses that read the site. (i.e. Finding out what people are happy with and what they aren't.)
- The 6 (5 plus Kate) of 13 who helped clean the common. That's over 40% of the people.
- The free branding and communications consulting provided to Tea Leaf Arts.

(In the corporate world this is half the point of PR - segment penetration through awareness.)

Hugh said...

Let's talk about me.

Anonymous said...

Go on then hugh.

Hugh said...

Hands off my segment.

Tom said...

Promise not to do this too often, but I've just written about this on my blog.

I've also named and shamed our beloved mayor.

Read it here.

Monkeyboy said...

Tom, You'll be saying we ought to run a few ideas up the flag pole and see who salutes next.

(Don't listen to me, I'm an underpaid, cynical engineer)

Tom said...

My next entry concerns how I got a 30 quid voucher to my favourite Brockley restaurant, so no need for cynicism!

Maradoll said...

Thank you for the mention :)

Thoroughly enjoyed myself on Sunday and I'm looking forward to the next one.

If more Brockley Central readers pledge to go to the next one, I'll bring along homemade cookies.

Not sure if that's a threat or a promise....

Kate said...

Oooh cookies! Fab idea Maradoll!

Tom - it wasn't a birthday voucher from Babur was it? I got one of those too. They're a really lovely restaurant aren't they!

Tom said...

Kate - how did you guess! Yep, I got a voucher from there last year, and after a rare bad experience there a couple of weeks back, now have another. Will explain on the blog later.

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