A week of new growth, new adventures and new beginnings

DaffodilsFor my blog post this week I’m inspired by the theme of new growth as challenged by the Weekly Blog Club.  But where to start?

From the little crocus and daffodil flower heads beginning to peep out from their green stems in my planters to the egg yolk yellow flowers of the whin bushes on the hillsides around me, I can see that spring is not far away. 

The sun is rising before I leave for work in the mornings now, thankfully, and there is a definate hen’s step in the day.  And this morning I saw a huge hare out of my window, bounding off down the path, no doubt late for something very important. 

Nature aside, another new adventure started for us this week as GAP member, Sheena, joined our marketing team at work.

Fresh from University and a successful applicant on Business in the Community’s Graduate Acceleration Programme, Sheena chose us as the place to get work experience for her CV whilst job hunting.  I’ve already told her that we don’t let good people go at Learning Pool.  A new face brings new ideas and questions about why we do things that certain way – I love that challenge.

But perhaps the best new beginning I’ve seen this week is the launch of the new online community for those suffering from a mental illness, Black Dog Tribes.

Ruby Wax, the new self confessed poster girl for mental illness, is the personality behind the venture along with musician Judith Owen and internet entrepreneur Nina Storms.  The big charities, Mind, Sane and Depression Alliance are all onboard. 

Social interest communities are very now.  Witness how the successful parenting community, Mumsnet, has branched out with a grandparents site, Gransnet.

Black Dog Tribes aims to give those battling with mental ill health “a place to meet, to ask questions, share experiences, actually say out loud what they’ve been holding inside a lifetime.”

As a topic very close to my heart I wish Black Dog Tribes every success.  It is a community that deserves to be popular.  One in four of us will suffer from a mental health problem at some point in our lives which means that pretty much all of us will be touched either directly or indirectly.

At the moment the forums are a bit empty (Feverbee’s Rich Millington talks a lot of sense about launch strategies for online communities here) although, with the PR coverage that Ruby Wax has gained this week, I’m sure there have been a fair few lurkers. 

It takes years to build a successful online community and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight.  I hope people will start posting and commenting and that a momentum of growth is gained.

Good luck Ruby and co.

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