I was taking a break on Dartmoor this week when I started seing lots of collection boxes for Devon Air Ambulance Trust (DAAT) in practically every shop, hotel or restaurant that I went to. The woman at this shop told me that everyone in the town (Chagford in this instance) had at the very least a family member who had been directly helped by DAAT.

So I flipped out my camera and started rolling. It was a moment of synchronicity — let me tell you why:

We had Heléna Holt on the first panel at Like Minds last week, who is the CEO of Devon Air Ambulance Trust, and I know the campaigning that she and many others do through Social Media to not only get funds but to also increase awareness. Having Heléna on the panel was another local person who we had in the diverse mix of people speaking. I hear people talk about ‘local’ in Social Media, but few do it.

The local goodness doesn’t stop there. In fact this whole thing is a local affair — because it’s our local partners Optix Solutions who developed Devon Air Ambulance’s website and Social Media campaign. In fact having ‘local partners’ is something that just isn’t really being done by conferences that have a global voice. Anyway, moving on…

Heléna sat on the panel that Jonathan Akwue from Digital Public had keynoted on minutes before — the very keynote where Jon boldly said that “Social Media saves lives.” The Guardian were there and concured with Jon, and thus ran the first of two articles on Like Minds, titled ‘Like Minds: Social Media can save lives‘. You can see the interview with Jon and how they reduced teenage pregnancies using Social Media here and then the keynote here.

And there’s one more thing: before Like Minds, not too many people knew about Jon — something he blogged about quite openly here. But his opening keynote has been praised over and over. We knew that he had something to give, even if he didn’t shout about it.

There are plenty of examples of local charities doing good with Social Media. But more often than not they are behind the scenes rather than jumping to get attention. Take our like minded endeavours for example — I never knew any of them were functioning at such a level.

Let me hear from you — what local charities do you know of using Social Media to do good that we should be promoting?

Archived Comments

  • jonathanalder

    Hi Scott

    Really nice post, and some great insight into Devon Air Ambulance and their great work.

    I thought another really interesting insight into charities engaging with social media was the Endeavour slot at Like Minds from Amy Kilburn of Hospiscare (@AmyHospiscare). (Hospiscare are one of our clients, so I am biased, but nonetheless…). The case study of a patient who had kept a blog through his battle with cancer was really moving, and very eloquently communicated. Their response to this is a great example of how Hospiscare are always looking for opportunities to utilise the energy and enthusiasm of their volunteers – and is this instance a patient – to communicate the fantastic work they do for people with terminal illness and their families. The challenge they face is the very personal and emotional nature of what they do – which is what makes their enthusiasm to overcome these challenges and break new ground in social media so exciting.

    Anyone who want to know more about Hospiscare should visit http://www.hospiscare.co.uk

  • / Scott Gould

    Yes I was deeply inspired by Amy’s talk. Im looking at how I can help