The Casserole crowd

Every now and again a new web service comes along that just chimes with me and reinforces my long held belief that the web is a force for good despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Kiva, FixMyStreet and Patient Opinion have been responsible for these kind of moments for me in the past and this week another one popped onto my radar (though to be honest I’d been vaguely aware of it for a little while.)

On the face of it Casserole is an attempt to kick start a kind of crowd-sourced meals on wheels service powered by digital (but backed up by a full range of support options including telephones.)

The main pitch is;

Casserole helps people share extra portions of home cooked food with others in their area who might not always be able to cook for themselves.

The wider mission though is for this to be a tool to help bring communities together and engender some of that slightly mythical community spirit. If you were going to be rude and upset the guys involved you could say it is a fine example of the ‘big society’ concept so beloved of ‘Call me Dave’.

The service could some great coverage on BBC Breakfast this week as well as in some national papers recently which I am sure will help kick it off across the country. It was originally seen as something that would be done in partnership with local councils etc but the team are now working on a DIY starter kit so that local groups etc can start local branches themselves.

Something about this idea just cried out for a Bristol edition I thought. Judging by my Twitter stream we aren’t short of foodies in this city and god knows we have a reputation for leaning toward the hippy-ish side of the street 🙂 and that seems like the perfect mix for this sort of thing?

It even has a pretty major Bristol connection with the lead developer being based in the city – and I’ll admit he is a former colleague of mine.

This is a FutureGov project – a consultancy I have watched (via Twitter) grow from one guy – Dominic Campbell – advising local government how to use Twitter basically to these days having a number of ‘social innovation’ projects running – all of which certainly seem interesting to one extent or another. It has certainly been interesting to watch (and weirdly despite following Dominic since 2007 and knowing many of the same people I still have never met him!).

Anyway Casserole is the sort of thing you can’t help but be impressed with and my faith is once again restored 🙂

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