Engage Your Community Through Text Messages

  • Engage Your Community Through Text Messages

    The Creation Trust is the successor organisation to the Aylesbury New Deals for Communities (NDC). Creation Trust works as an advocate for tenants and residents by promoting a better working and living environment, healthier lifestyles and increasing opportunities for all.

    Aylesbury is in the third most deprived ward in Southwark, which itself is the eighth most deprived borough in England.

    The Creation Trust are using social media as an opportunity to engage with residents; statistics for the estate show an increasingly large number of residents are now online and regularly use social media.

    Hand Holding Mobile Smart PhoneCreation's Twitter account @creationSE17 has over 700 followers, allowing information to be shared with a broad cross-section of the community.

    But Creation Trust have taken the use of technology a little further. According to The Guardian, a text message was sent to 300 Aylesbury residents with a job opportunity. 66% of the residents then attended the event which was showcasing the job. The Manager of Creation Trust, Patrischia Warmington, said that this particular text message played a major part in the success of the showcase, and they will continue to communicate via text messages.

    Creation Trust would have had a strategy, which would have considered-

    • What do they want to achieve?
    • How can they achieve it?

    Creation Trust used Activist SMS, a system which makes it easy for community and voluntary sector organisations and front line public service staff to use the power of texting to support their work.

    A case study from Activist SMS:

    Coplestone Together is a members group for people with mental health concerns in Peckham, South London. The group meet weekly for a shared lunch and to work in a community allotment together. 

    Members of the group enjoy getting Julia's messages, and find them valuable. 

    "They make you feel as though somebody or something out there knows you are alive." says John. "They make you smile if you are a bit down." 

    Another member, Karen, says "The messages make the difference to whether I come or not." 

    Coplestone Together use text messages as a simple, powerful tool help people get together and support each other. By supporting each other, the members of Coplestone Together reduce the cost on hard pressed public services.

    Using a text messaging system has the potential to reach communities instantly and to deliver news, events and updates more efficiently (ie. Quicker than a news bulletin.) Texting is a popular and accessible way of communicating with others.

    To ensure complete inclusion, you will need to:

    • Ensure those in the community have access to a mobile phone. If there are some that don't, how will you communicate to those?
    • Ensure you get their permission to use their mobile number to communicate
    • Ensure you keep all contact details private and confidential
    • Do not bombard them with text messages. This could be seen as spam.
    • Ensure the messages are relevant and informative.

    Try it out! Register at Activist SMS. Here is how:


    Once you have opened an account you will begin with 20 messages, and can then request more. By using Activist SMS you take responsibility for all of the content of the messages you send, and the consequences of anything that happens as a result of sending those messages.

    Would this be a useful tool for your organisation?

    Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1417191

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