Last night I attended the first ever Brighton Social Media Surgery – a rather special if small event that marks an important landmark for a number of reasons.
- For one, it’s the start of an important phase of the We Live Here project which is aiming to usher in a new relationship between the public, voluntary and community sectors in Brighton and Hove.
- It’s also one of the first surgeries to have taken place since the Social Media Surgeries were honoured with a Prime Minister’s Big Society Award.
- And, from a personal perspective, it feels like it rubber-stamps by big-money transfer to Public-i from Podnosh – the firm that through the enormous largesse, industry and general brilliance of its creator, Nick Booth, has made the surgeries the success they are.
OK, so I was slightly lying about ‘big money’ bit, but the rest is absolutely true – and being involved in social media surgeries (which I first blundered into in Fazeley Studios in Birmingham – as it happens without a computer and could only lend a hand moving the desks) has been a source of enormous enjoyment and reward for me. So getting the chance to become involved as a surgeon in my new home town is, frankly, fabulous.
Enough of the gushing… Now for the surgery…
The We Live Here project will be holding surgeries in the three pilot communities it’s running in. Two of these, Hangleton and Knoll and Brunswick and Regency, are geographical; the third, the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in Brighton is obviously rather harder to define.
We sat in the foyer of the BMECP and, while I was a little late, Anthony Zacharzewski was able to help out three patients with Twitter (that’s Anthony in the picture above) – with this account for for Forward Facing created. Please give ‘em a follow!
When Anthony went, I took over and helped Bert Williams of Brighton and Hove Black History to learn a little more about how he’d be able to use QR codes as part of his work. Bert holds tours of our city that devle into the remarkable role people of different ethnic backgrounds have played in Brighton’s history. As ever, being a surgeon was as much a learning experince as it was an opportunity to impart my own knowledge: I found out from Bert that – much to my surprise – the Emperor Haile Selassie of Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) had visited Brighton while in exile!
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