Poverty is said to be costing the UK £78 billion a year
The average age of death for a homeless person is 47
12 men under the age of 45 commit suicide every day in the UK
UK foodbank use is at a record high with over 1 million 3 day emergency food packs given out in the last 12 months ... ...
The list goes on and on with shocking statistics from all areas of life.
A crisis or negative impacting life event can happen to anyone at any time. And, unless it is something that you can dial 999 for, finding where you can get help and support can be 'pot luck' or the 'luck of the draw'. Sadly too often it can be easier to find a hotel or restaurant on Google maps than it is to find one of the 200,000+ charities and community projects that provide vital support to people when they most need it. That's not good for the person in crisis or for the charity.
In 2009 I worked as a trainer helping people who had been out of work, long term, due to illness or disability. It was my role to help them to regain their self-esteem and confidence so that they could move back into work. I met hundreds of people whose lives had been devastated by situations that were outside of their control. Homes had been lost, families had split, people had tried to commit suicide and that was just the tip of the iceberg. I admit that each story broke my heart just a little bit more. Then when I was told by my boss that I could no longer work with some of my clients because they were 'no hopers' - well that made me feel ... There are no real words to describe how I felt, but I knew that something needed to be done to make it easier for people to find the help and support that was available to them locally.
I left that job and along with a small group of amazing volunteers we started to research what we could do to make it easier for people to find this 'hidden emergency service'.
The more we talked with people the more we realised that exactly the same data could help more than one sector within communities. By bringing this information together in one place - on a free to use interactive community map people will be able to:
- Find help based on their location and need
- Find where they can volunteer and make a difference in their community
- Existing charities will be able to find each other to connect, share & collaborate
- Local businesses will easily find charities to support with services, time or financial support
- And more ...
We have built and launched a beta of the map, ododow.org. It has the first 370+ charities pin-pointed.
This is a great start and now we need your help to fill it. So, if you agree that bringing this information together is a good thing then please join us on the journey to create a map that helps to 'connect communities - one click at a time'.
Each Charity and community project is able to create a free profile and pin-point on the map so that people can find them easily.
We are inviting you to add your charity - You can share things like:
- Who you help
- How you help
- Why you help
- What help you need
Ododow is a great opportunity to share your story. It's an opportunity to raise your profile in a different way and if you are a small charity you can use your profile page as a 'website'. (Ododow - pronounced 'Oh-doe-doe' stands for One Day - One Deed - One World)
On your profile page you can also share links to:
- Your webpage
- Your donation page
- Your contact details
- Your social media pages
And there is even a photo gallery for you to share images.
There is the ability to have a 'hidden' address and just show the area that you are in. This is great for smaller charities that may be run from a home address or for organisations like Women's Aid that want to keep their address private.
Ododow will share regular social media posts that link back to your profile page, they will re-tweet for you (if you tag them in posts). They are also looking at setting up a radio channel to be able to share your 'story' further.
There is more in the pipeline - that is for another day. One step at a time.
Please help us to make our 'Hidden Emergency Service' Visible - Today
In Gratitude - Jaki :)