Introducing the online guided conversation on Cornwall Link: a holistic questionnaire that generates suggestions of relevant social activities and support.
So there you are, browsing through the Cornwall Link – an online community directory – looking for support, services and community resources. You scan the lunch clubs, health and fitness classes, community transport schemes etc. You apply a few filters. You narrow the search. You find what you’re looking for. Or do you?
Chances are that if, many months later, your health and well-being hasn’t improved, or you’re still feeling lonely, or you’re still sleeping poorly, or you’re still struggling to walk, or you’re still anxious about your finances; then no, you didn’t find what you were looking for and you certainly didn’t find what you needed. Not close.
Enter the “online guided conversation” – launched today (14th June 2018) on the Cornwall Link. Funded by Age UK Cornwall, co-designed with volunteers, partners and staff, lovingly crafted by Made Open. This online tool complements Age UK Cornwall’s successful telephone line – a service funded through donations and crowdfunding that received over 5,000 calls last year – helping people, carers and health professionals to access accurate and ultra-local information about community services and neighbourhood activities via a holistic and more person-centred questionnaire.
Only now, those same people, carers and health professionals in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have a 24/7 directory that can help to connect them intelligently to a wide menu of activities, groups and services. The online guided conversation generates suggestions of relevant social activities and support based on an individual’s preferences, health, lifestyle and environment. Think AirBNB not Yellow Pages!
This has been a difficult project to get right with so many variables but we’re pleased with the end product. It’s a tool that could be applied elsewhere; for example, specific communities of purpose (e.g. cancer support). Talking of products, this is hopefully just the starting point for this website. Age’s UK Cornwall’s vision for the Cornwall Link is to “become a hub for social connection and community exchange; a place where people from across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly can find what they need, ask the community for help or offer support to others”.
Over the next few months, we are hoping to take a huge leap towards this vision by migrating the Cornwall Link onto the Made Open platform. This will involve a major redesign and repurposing of the Made Open platform to extend the benefits of social prescribing. You can read more about that here. We more than most understand that Age UK Cornwall’s vision will most likely succeed if there is enough will for it to happen at a local level – being a lonely prophet with no followers can lead to change but is the hardest route to take – and that ultimately means co-ownership of the Cornwall Link.
This is by no means a fait du complet – collective impact requires collective effort. We’ll keep you posted.