I’m fascinated by what digital can do for communities and am putting ideas into action in my backyard

Me (centre) with the Spruce  Up Squad team

Me (centre) with fellow founders of the Spruce Up Squad

My family and I moved to Eastbourne four years ago and we were immediately smitten with the place. It’s a beautiful seaside town on the south coast of England sitting in the shade of the South Downs. Its people are warm, generous and community minded and we’ve made lots of friends already.

A few months in I founded a community group called Eastbourne Can. As the name suggests, I wanted to mobilise the town’s ‘doers’ using whatever digital means I had to hand. I soon established a WordPress powered blog, a Twitter channel and Facebook group. Later came many flavours of surveys, a Spotify channel for the annual carnival and plenty more besides.

Eastbourne Can has proved to be a valuable launch platform for all sorts of projects. We’ve run cashmobs to encourage people to spend at independent retailers and spruced up empty shops. Volunteers have re-opened a Martello Tower on the seafront. We’ve launched a not for profit company to grow the digital economy. My work in the Little Chelsea area of town has encouraged shoppers, retailers and residents to be a little more ambitious.

All this with a laptop, mainly off the shelf digital tools and a genuine desire to build bridges within our community.

My work with Eastbourne Can continues and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

How I could help you

  • Growing your blogs, social media and newsletters
  • Measuring public opinion
  • Leading engagement with your stakeholders
  • Galvanising interest in your projects

Project photos

I invited urban designer Ben Hamilton-Baillie to Eastbourne

I invited urban designer Ben Hamilton-Baillie to Eastbourne

Helping Clare Hackney and team with a three shop wide mural

Helping Clare Hackney and team with a three shop wide mural

Another shop Spruced up (I'm on the left)

Another shop Spruced up (I’m on the left)

Owning our handiwork

Owning our handiwork

Feedback at the first Little Chelsea urban design meeting

Feedback at the first Little Chelsea urban design meeting