The Community AppWe were successful in obtaining a grant from Dartford Borough Council to develop a mobile app to enhance communications within the community. Although the uptake of digital communication and working has increased exponentially during the COVid-19 pandemic, more and more people are either rejecting or removing themselves from popular social media channels due to concerns over privacy or abuse. Equally, the way algorithms for these channels work means it’s increasingly difficult for communications to be seen, leading to uncertainty regarding local communications reach.

As part of our COVid-19 response, we have seen how important it is, not only to be able to communicate directly and promptly to disseminate important information, but for residents to engage with each other and contact us easily if they need assistance. To avoid any social recession, we will need to create virtual spaces that can sustain us and help those most vulnerable to combat loneliness.

Development of our community app will take place during year one and we hope to launch by early 2022. This will enable a cohesive method of community interaction on the web, phone or tablet that focuses solely on provision of parish-related information. We hope the app will become a real focus for the community upholding our sharing and caring aspirations and enabling local groups, organisations and businesses to advertise for free so we can support both the local economy and community groups.

We will enable mechanisms via the app for local residents to care, share, repair or recycle among each other to reduce waste, consumption and foster positive community relations.
We will also provide free e-books, learning and short courses to help with money
management, employment and digital skills.