East Croydon Cool talks…Coronavirus (and Community, Culture & Creativity)

East Croydon Cool was set up to showcase all the great things about Croydon. As a community marketing platform (incorporating a website, social media channels, merchandise range, events programme and e-zine) it aims to inform people on what’s going on at local businesses, keep people updated on local events and foster a sense of local pride. During a period of regeneration, it helps forge relationships between Croydoners to ensure the community continues to shine as brightly as its new buildings do.

Never did we imagine that we’d end up discussing a pandemic.

And largely, we won’t be. We’ll leave that to the experts.

But the coming weeks and months will highlight more than ever, the importance of community, culture and creativity. And that IS something we know a bit about.

Whilst Community has traditionally been associated with people living, working and socialising together IRL, the internet changed that. Technology has enabled the strengthening of more obvious community groups (eg friends, family, neighbours and colleagues keeping in touch by whats app, social media and email) as well as the development of online communities which have brought people together not in person, but online via their common interests (eg new mums supporting each other via chatrooms, students enjoying collective learning experiences via online tutorials, hobbyists swapping tips via Instagram). A community (whether online or offline) is powerful. In a time when people are feeling powerless, it can provide a sense of support, of belonging and of influence, knowing that we can achieve more collectively than we can individually.  Croydon has always had a strong sense of community and at East Croydon Cool, we hope to use our online influence to help the community in as many ways as possible.

In terms of Culture and Creativity, Croydon is ahead of the curve (we won Borough of Culture 2023 by demonstrating it!). Creativity is going to be a vital skill in these new times; both in terms of dealing with new problems and in keeping sane. People are going to need new types of cultural and creative activities to keep them entertained and we are confident Croydon’s people and organisations will find ways in which to provide it. East Croydon Cool will use our online influence and community network to showcase Croydon’s culture and creativity during this time.

Whilst not wanting to trivialise the seriousness of the medical implications, we know the economic, social and mental health impacts of Coronavirus will also be huge.  We want to do as much as possible to support local businesses and residents with a range of community focused creative projects.

We’re starting out with two activities (both in partnership with local residents) and are in discussions with various organisations about others.

This is new territory, and perhaps not everything we do will help, but we’re going to give as much as we can a try.

So if you’re working on a project which might benefit from our support, drop us an email on info@eastcroydoncool.co.uk and we’ll see what we can do.

CURRENT PROJECTS

Project One: #LocalsLoveLocally campaign
This is a social media campaign, backed by a dedicated page on our website. It encourages Croydon residents to support local businesses during the Coronavirus by highlighting specific ways in which they can help them. A listing on the East Croydon Cool website details the business’s special offers and activations and these are also shared on social media channels using the unique hashtag #LocalsLoveLocally. The campaign essentially offers Croydon businesses the opportunity to promote themselves to a wider audience for free. This campaign is being run in partnership with local community fundraiser, Hannah Sayers, who provides support to communities for projects that improve local heritage, leisure, culture and greenspaces. For more information on this project, CLICK HERE.

Project Two: Self Isolation Tips
Local resident and graphic designed, Georgina Marmoy, has created a series of Self-Isolation templates that people can share to demonstrate how they can help others. We’ve taken her Self-Isolation Tips template and shared with a few creative locals to get their innovative ideas on what to do when stuck indoors. We are sharing these on our Insta-Stories (and highlights) so if you’re looking for some indoor inspiration, check these out. Got a tip of your own? Complete the template, share on social and tag us in and we’ll help spread the word.

Project Three: The £1 Thumbs Up
This is a simple fundraising project to encourage East Croydon Cool Instagram followers to donate £1 to NHS Croydon Health Services. To learn more about this campaign, click here.

 

 

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