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Worthing #riotcleanup pioneer creates new volunteering website
4:50pm Monday 2nd April 2012 in News
If you need your neighbourhood cleaning up or snow cleared a new internet project could become your first port of call.
Social activist Dan Thompson is teaming up with Worthing-based internet marketing agency Fresh Egg to create a unique volunteering website.
The #futurecleanup project has been inspired by the success Mr Thompson achieved with his #riotcleanup last summer when he managed to gather a team of 12,000 volunteers to clean up London after the riots using Twitter.
His latest project is set to go nationwide when it launches in August thanks to a £100,000 grant from the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta).
The website will allow people to |add new events or campaigns to get things cleaned up in their area and offer volunteers the chance to sign |up.
The funding from Nesta will help to develop the site but also allow the |project’s founders to go around |the country to help people set up |events.
The team has established links with national youth volunteering organisation vInspired to help launch the project nationwide.
Mr Thompson said his first contact with Fresh Egg was when they visited an empty shop project he was running in the former Allied carpet store |in Buckingham Road, Worthing in 2010.
They were so impressed that they took on the £500,000 lease on the site and it is now home to their offices where they employ 85 people.
Mr Thompson said: “I had the idea pretty quickly after the summer and I wondered how we could help people to activate the same thing as |#riotcleanup without the problems we had.
“Facebook and Twitter are fantastic tools but information is spread all |over the place, #futurecleanup will bring all that information into one place.
“#riotcleanup really surprised me with the response, the aim was to get 50 people and we ended up with thousands.
“We are complementing services that are already there and maybe doing that bit extra that maybe can’t be done by councils and formal structures.
“It’s about unlocking even more potential within local communities.”
Adam Stafford, managing director of Fresh Egg, said: “As an active member of the local community in which I live and work, I’m really excited to be a part of this new business opportunity.
“It allows activists to arrange events and for volunteers to have a central place to find things to do to help their local community.
“Local government will in theory save money on activities and it will enable hyperlocal areas to become better places to live in.”
For more information visit www.freshegg.com/blog/fresh-egg-dan-thompson-launch-futurecleanup_12306.