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    Timebanking UK and Made Open have launched a national IT platform called Communities Together to help all UK communities respond to the COVID-19 Coronavirus. The aim of this platform is to facilitate the exchange of offers and requests between people in communities – helping people who are self-isolating to access support and stay connected during this time of crisis.

    See more here:


    We’ve been contacted by FuzzLab, who say:

    “We are offering all HAs our product completely free for three months to mitigate reduced contact centre capacity and increased call volumes.

    There’s no commitment, zero cost and no strings attached. We just want to do our bit during this difficult time.

    We can have them up and running with a chatbot on your website in just a few weeks – there’s a couple of days of effort for the SMEs to tell us the responses they want and a couple of days for their web team to deploy the bot on their website.

    Contact for more info


    Fantastic, thanks for this Matthew really useful!


    I think we’ll need to find a platform that we can use to easily deploy remote help for outreach clients that is free at the point of use for them (ideally for us too) and that meets a bunch of criteria:

    -Passes our ICT team’s scrutiny – WhatsApp and Zoom haven’t, I think Skype doesn’t or didn’t use to at least
    -Very easy to deploy for vulnerable and moderately technophobic clients to use – i.e. along the lines of “click this link/button” and give permission, but no more
    -Works across various OS’s#
    -No cost to clients to access (and low cost or no cost for us)

    Any thoughts? Think we’ll need something well beyond the next few weeks if we are to carry on delivering services on our CI projects, especially our digital inclusion offer (which is me!).


    Hey James
    At Newydd we are delivering facebook live sessions (please go to HAPI RCT for some examples!) which have gone down an absolutely storm! We are also supporting clients with video meetings via MS Teams. Happy to chat further if you want more info!


    @RhoneyJones – thanks for reply, great to hear, what are staff doing about FB accounts – can they sign in with their Workplace accounts? Or are they setting up dedicated FB Accounts (I think this is technically against their T&Cs btw)

    Also how are your clients getting Microsoft Teams – CHS already using this but I thought you need to have MS Office licence to use Teams?

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by jameslewisCHS.

    Over the last few weeks, we’ve been approached by a number of software vendors with information about the tools they’ve developed that might be of help in engaging with communities during the current crisis. Here’s a brief round-up of them.

    Chatbot service that can be used to manage resident queries online – through automated 24/7 responses

    Offer to sector: free 3 months – with focus on supporting COVID-19 related queries

    Maturity: ready to deploy
    Impact: short run – medium – could help some HAs pivot to full digital channels faster

    Platform for enabling members of the community including residents to answer support queries (similar to the Giff Gaff community support model). Potential to radically transform approaches to customer support and build engagement and empowerment of communities.

    Maturity: Innovative new model – software developed but sector not ready conceptually
    Impact: potentially high impact but unlikely to be deployed in the short run

    Challenger property management platform with a focus on community engagement as USP. Aims to bring together self service features with resident community platform. Can provide analytics on which areas and communities are most engaged with the landlord and each other.

    Maturity: Still in an early phase of development- looking for product development support and initial feedback from the sector
    Impact: reopens the conversations about online communities that to date some HAs have been reluctant to be involved with as they haven’t wanted to be responsible

    Tool to monitor vulnerable and high risk residents during the COVID-19 crisis. Understand who needs support and how the virus is impacting communities HAs operate in. Monitor wellbeing and health and connect to residents who want to volunteer to support others in their communities.

    Maturity: ready to deploy now
    Impact: short run – high

    Greaves Consultancy
    Life and Progress – online and telephone service providing advice on health and well being, financial support

    Maturity: unknown – looks like it is live now but not specialised toward COVID-19 response
    Impact: useful if HAs don’t have this type of support in house – quality of provision unknown

    Gridizen KM

    Thanks Matthew.

    A little more information on :

    We are already in a live trial with a housing association who love the intuitive approach, dashboard reporting and the interaction with residents
    The community functionality was created using the Together with Tenants campaign set out by the NHF as a base

    Covid 19 Support

    Our community tool can be used by any landlords free of charge
    Our maintenance tool can be used by any landlord free of charge – this enables the reporting, scoping, and monitoring of maintenance requests without the need of a site visit (for most issues)

    Registering as a landlord, then loading properties and tenants is intuitive, this can be facilitated via a bulk upload process which we can help with. You can be up and running within the day.

    Feel free to get in touch with any questions or queries.


    With downtime and remote-learning opportunities, it’s possible to acquire new skills and knowledge.

    Read the Stay Nimble blog CoronaLockdown: Online Learning Resources to see our list of free online digital courses.

    Please share this resource with your networks, colleagues and friends.

    Thank you,

    Stay Nimble

    Stay Nimble is a social enterprise providing career and work performance coaching services through a digital platform to help people find, re-skill for and thrive in better work. For more information about Stay Nimble, please reach us at


    Thanks @Shauna I don’t personally recommend any more though, as the advertising has become too intrusive for most people to deal with though. It’s a real shame as it was a trailblazer πŸ™


    Thanks @jameslewisCHS – really useful to have your feedback! I will pass this onto our content team :).

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