A Nice Cup of Tea

Have you ever noticed how on TV soaps the initial response to any kind of tricky problem is “I’ll put the kettle on and make a nice cup of tea”? It seems tea solves all things. It’s a view that’s at the heart of the Brewcamp movement. Tea, cake and solutions.

Last night I attended the first Telford Brewcamp. We were lucky enough to have the #brewcamp founding fathers with us in the shape of Dan Slee, Darren Caveney, Simon Whitehouse and Andy Mabbett which was a ringing endorsement for what I hope will be a new event in the local calendar. Our venue was King’s Street Cafe, Wellington TF1 1NS and our hosts plied us with coffee and homemade cake. Pete Jackson was the instigator of the event and pulled together a healthy mix of local gov bods, councilors and hyperlocal activists.

Here’s one case study from last night: I happen to live five minutes from the venue so this was most definitely a home fixture. Just up the road in Lightmoor is one of a number of new communities springing up in a town that was ‘New’ forty years ago. And in that community are some particularly switched on people like Lightmoor Mark & Jake Snr who recently took it upon themselves to live stream the Telford & Wrekin Council meeting. From an iPhone on a tripod to three cameras mixed through Google Hangout, the set up is more sophisticated than most council’s offer; if indeed they offer it at all. It’s community action at it’s best. The council have embraced the streaming and councilors even winked at a play along, spot-the-cliche drinking game devised by local community news feed Telford Live. In Lightmoor they’ve also set up twitter text alerts to the mobile phones of residents who don’t access social media so they don’t miss out on community news. And the ambition doesn’t end there. They’ve given serious consideration to providing a feed of the council stream to the flat-screen TV in the communal lounge of the local sheltered housing complex for elderly residents.

So Telford#brewcamp was a great success IMHO and it’s cool to know that there are so many engaged people in my neighborhood. If you haven’t been to a Brewcamp, I’d recommend it. Better still, organise one of your own.  Dan Slee sums them up HERE and check out the Lightmoor blog HERE