There are also a growing number of local community and neighbourhood websites available. These are often independent and provide a local voice for specific areas.
What is a community led website?
Community led websites are run by local groups or individuals rather than companies or official organisations such as councils. They usually focus on specific areas or neighbourhoods and are run by the community for the benefit of the community.
Many encourage participation from people living in the area and their involvement determines the tone and content of the site. Often this allows the site to have an independent and local perspective on news and issues affecting that community.
Although each community website is different, many provide:
- Local news
- Information about local services, businesses and events
- Information and articles created by their visitors
- A forum to discuss local issues and concerns
- Support for local campaigns
- A different perspective to 'official' sites
Some areas may have more than one community website. Sometimes this is because the areas covered by two websites overlap, sometimes it is because two or more websites have been set up independently to cover the same area (in which case, they may provide different viewpoints about the community).
How can I get involved?
Find out if your local area already has a community website. Local community websites thrive on participation and they'll welcome your interest. The site may have sections that everyone can contribute to (such as discussion forums, events listings or online notice boards) or they may be looking for people to help run the site.
If your area doesn't have a community website, why not think about starting one? Many successful community websites are created and run by enthusiastic individuals who are interested in their community.
Community, voluntary and not-for-profit groups in Surrey can get a free website on SurreyCommunity.info. They host your website, supply the software for editing it and provide technical support - all you have to contribute is the time to create, edit and run your site.
Is there a local community website for my area?
You could also search online for your community or see if a group for your area is listed on SurreyCommunity.info.