A month or so ago Matt Bowsher contacted me with what has proved to be a great idea. He was thinking of arranging a get together for people working in social care, to have curry and chat work, in an unapologetic way! Social care isn’t the sexiest of topics, it’s not like saying you’re a pilot, or a doctor, or a tightrope walker, on the whole if you talk to non-social care types about what you do let’s just say there often isn’t a huge enthusiasm to know more. The thought was that meeting up with others who were explicitly interested in social care AND were explicitly interested in curry, would make for a good evening.
What we did
I agreed to help Matt get the word out, we jointly share the twitter account (which makes for some interesting learning) and I established a wordpress blog as a place for more permanent information share. We’ve been using eventbrite to book people onto events and already we’ve had one meet up in Birmingham, read about it here, and are currently in the process of arranging the next date, Thursday 5 September and using polldaddy to gather votes.
What we’ve learnt already
1. It’s possible to enthuse and engage people and grow momentum with one great idea and a bit of elbow grease
2. Having a good name and twitter tag helps, we started off with SocCareCurryClu but changed to @SocialCareCurry after a week and it’s much easier to remember
3. It’s helpful to have a blog to use as a platform for information sharing, more technically savvy types may have established their own website, but a blog platform is working well for us, even though most of the discussion happens on twitter, it’s useful to have somewhere to coherently post more than 140 character updates
4. A few basic rules have helped people get a picture for what will happen, some people would prefer more, others less, but hopefully we’ve managed to get the balance right. The only rules are that everyone is welcome if they are interested in social care and curry (there is no expertise requirement, interest and enthusiasm will suffice) and there is no selling allowed
5. When you have a good, simple idea people find it easy to relate to. So far I’m delighted to report that we’ve spawned @PharmacyCurry, @OTCurry and @SchGovCurry; who knows which other industries or groups will see the value, I guess the proof of the poppadom is in the eating!
I hope it goes without saying if you love social care and love curry then you’re very welcome to any of our curry nights (they’re held quarterly, next two dates are 5 Sept and 5 Dec), you’re also welcome to arrange your own and we’ll help promote it. You can follow us on twitter @SocialCareCurry and read more on the blog.