Suffolk Twestival 2011: Please join the Community

Twestival (and Twitter) is all about Community - let's pull together and show what Suffolk can do!

The year has flown by since 2010’s Suffolk Twestival  held in Bury St Edmunds. I joined-in at the very last minute and helped drum up a bit of support. For me, attending was a defining moment in our lives (having relocated to Suffolk from London 6 months previously) – I have to say that the people I met that evening and continue to meet through their Twitter social network have been amazing. I’m truly honoured today to call so many my friends.

Twestival was conceived by a lovely person called Amanda Rose a few years back when Twitter was just an emerging social networking platform and it was the serious early adopters who saw its potential. She organised a bunch of Twitter folk (Tweeps) to get together in a central London venue and raise money for charity. Amanda best describes Twestival’s origins and how the Twitter community was mobilised- together raising a staggering $1.2m to date!

Talking Suffolk, the turnout in 2010 was modest (but of wonderful quality- for instance our guest speaker was Jamie Riddell ) and it feels as if Twitter has “gone mainstream” in Suffolk since then! – that’s why we’ve set ourselves a regional fund raising target of £5,000 and I feel with everyone’s help we can support all the wonderful volunteer work our Suffolk Twestival Regional co-ordinator continues to put into the day’s events- she’s the wonderfully organised and inspring Emma Jell to whom we owe many thanks!

For those of you who’ve heard me speak evangelically on social media, you’ll know that I attempt to demystify social media and social networking tools by encouraging you to think of them as community tools. These tools help us restore and extend our sense of community (an old fashioned concept that I feel we’ve all lost to a certain degree). Twitter restores the sense of community – it works, trust me!

Twestival is also about community and this year we are fortunate to have the opportunity to raise funds for a local Suffolk Based Charity. Twestival HQ has given us the go ahead to raise money for The Suffolk Foundation and specifically for their Suffolk Disability Care Fund: a fund that awards grants to disabled Suffolk residents who may not otherwise have support from  the NHS, Suffolk County Council or other statutory providers. Clearly, with all the recent pressures on funding, a gap that desperately needs plugging.

I’m going to be sharing my experiences in the run-up to the event on 24 March, when I’m looking forward to meeting some of the recipients of past funding and interview the Development Director of The Suffolk Foundation to name a few – all the content will be posted on the Suffolk Twestival social media presence.

A group of us have got together and donated time and various other things in the quest to reach our fundraising target and to help the disabled in need in Suffolk.

Thursday 24th March promises to be a fun-filled day of community. The Suffolk Digital community has got together and will be holding events (all proceeds to Twestival). Please check out the website for further details. The day culminates in an evening event at The Brewery Tap in Ipswich.

I’m going to be donating my time between 10am and 3pm and holding a one-on-one Surgery either in Woodbridge or Orford (venue to be confirmed) **UPDATE**: I’m going to be at Pump Street Bakery in Orford and you’re welcome to hit me with your most challenging questions. If you need to know a little bit more about me – have a read through my profile on my business site, Any Other Business. I’m happy to talk to you about business models, process, technology,  growth strategy and social media (amongst others). I’m sure my independent perspective on your business will be valuable and is well worth the £25 per half hour session that you’ll have to donate to Suffolk Twestival’s cause.

Tickets will be available soon and should be purchased from the official Suffolk Twestival page. Once you’ve purchased your tickets please get in touch with me at contact at to schedule a slot between 10 and 3pm.

Otherwise, as I did last year – I’ll be in touch with local businesses to get them to attend as many of the day’s events as possible and if you can’t make it- hopefully you can make a donation in cash or in kind. Please get in touch if you’d like to help and participate in this fabulous Suffolk Community.

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