A bit about Devon Grapevine – a local success

The great thing about a new job is you get to hear about lots of interesting things that as a council we have been involved in supporting.  Once such example is Devon Grapevine.

What is the Devon Grapevine?

Devon Grapevine is an online network for people from different cultures, living in Devon.

Why was the Devon Grapevine set up?

In 2009, the Safer Devon Partnership commissioned the Olive Tree Association to carry out the Community Safety Mapping Project (CSMP). Over 250 people from minority ethnic communities were interviewed across rural Devon. Areas of concern raised by inerviewees included health, crime and education. Devon Grapevine was set up to respond to these areas of concern.

What can the Devon Grapevine offer individual members?

  • a one-stop shop for information and advice about living in Devon
  • an online place to meet and share experiences with others from minority ethnic backgrounds living in Devon
  • direct contact with organisations through messaging, forums, and scheduled chat sessions.
So why is this interesting, well one of the key successes in my eyes is that before this site, a community like this didn’t exist, people were disconnected from each other.
Now there are over 250 people representing over 40 different cultural backgrounds and most if not all have actually met each other offline at what they call “meet and eat” sessions…these are simply a way for the group to come together and connect.
Approximately 80% of content is user-generated, with the facilitator providing a steer and direction on some issues.
Now this presents lots of opportunities not only for the newly formed community but for public service providers in Devon…however as a starting point and as one model it is a great place to be.
If you wanted proof that stuff like this could happen, then this, in my humble opinion is a good starting place.

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