EBI Digital

Published: March 23, 2021

The ebi.scot website was launched in late October 2020, after local organisations came together to explore the idea of a community website. Recruiting volunteers for the EBI Unites Community Pantry service and providing an online option for people to ask for help, was the main reason for the initiative. 

Research identified examples of other community websites which showed the value of having wider content about community life and in promoting local areas as attractive, welcoming places. These included: PaisleyWantageGrassington

There was some debate around the suggestion that a community website is not needed, due to the use of social media channels by local people and groups. However, there was general acceptance that a community website would serve a different function, acting as a shared digital space for all, regardless of participation in social media channels which is known to be variable. The website will provide a single source of reliable and consistent information about our communities; the potential to create something like a digital town centre and a digital town hall was seen as a positive, creative opportunity. So, the consensus was to proceed, without financial risk, using volunteer effort and a free web service. Some highlights from the period since ebi.scot first went live are below. 

  • There has been a very positive response to the new website from individuals and organisations in the community. 
  • 19 volunteers recruited to EBI Unites via the website.
  • Key information about the EBI area, that would require significant effort to find by other means, has been collated in one easy to use online place. 
  • Local photographers have contributed a number of pictures free of charge, and the great Illustrated Walks features were commissioned from Clydeside Images for a very small cost.
  • Mill Magazine donated the Love Letter to Erskine article by local author Cathie Devitt.
  • Over 1000 individuals visited the site in December to take part in the advent window competition.
  • Shops have been happy to display the ebi.scot promotional material designed by Mill Magazine.
  • A journalism student has been assigned to a work experience placement with ebi.scot by City of Glasgow College.

A second version of the website, professionally designed and hosted, has been enabled by a grant from the Scotland Loves Local Fund. The new website will be live in early Spring 2021. This development represents the start of a continuing project to explore how digital technologies can be used for community benefit. Early examples of this include:

  • working with Astrosat as part of a European Space Agency funded Isolation + project to look at how satellite data can be applied to local areas to help identify needs in the population;
  • linking with Renfrewshire Council who have provided this digital map of the EBI area, showing population and income data from the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD);
  • engagement with Mydex CIC, a social enterprise specialising in Personal Data Stores, who carried out a discovery project with EBI Unites and are investigating options to fund a local proof of concept project; 
  • contact with the Scottish Tech Army, who offered advice on the approach to the new website and making links to relevant work in other parts of Scotland. 

For more information or to discuss anything that interests you in the EBI Digital project, please contact admin@ebi.scot.

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