Southwark Circle has been designed as a social enterprise that can be fully self-sufficient, creating a user co-production model. For £10 per year, Southwark residents over 50 can join the Circle, which is mediated via telephone and internet. Membership offers the opportunity to contribute to, and participate in, a lively social calendar, and to buy tokens giving access to the active network of CRB-checked ‘Neighbourhood Helpers’. Helpers may be Circle members who also volunteer, or non-members who are paid the London living wage for their time. Each token is equivalent to about an hour’s work and the help provided ranges from gardening and cleaning to computer lessons and general advice. After a year, Southwark Circle has 700 members who involved in 18-month co-design and has been growing faster than expected, generating a peer to peer exchange for everyday service.
a neighhourhood social support network, London, UK
It was designed to fulfilling everyday needs through a social support network and in the process reducing social isolation in an inner-London borough