Community app comes into its own during lockdown

With an active community engagement plan, a community mobiliser in post, many successful neighbourhood events and the gradual adoption of amenities by the Community Interest Company, the Swindon development, Tadpole Garden Village, has become a place many are proud to call home.

A key development for the community was the launch of the Tadpole Garden Village app, developed by Preim in partnership with Crest Nicholson. The app was specifically designed to be a useful tool for residents to communicate with each other and with Preim, whilst also providing access key information. During lockdown the app and all of its functionality really came into its own.

Facilitating communication

Community mobiliser, Chris Tanner, utilised the app to send notifications to residents – whether that was updates on the use of play areas or to signpost people to the newly created virtual wellbeing resources, collated to help people find local support networks or online entertainment to help them through the coming months.

The social forum on the app was similarly used by Chris for updates on the development’s progress – whether that was plans for the community pub still going ahead or a call for entries into the community cookbook, A Taste of TGV.

Residents also used the platform to discuss everything from recommendations for local tradespeople through to questions about the community’s allotments.

Both Chris and the Tadpole Garden Village’s account manager at Preim, Simon New, used the app to offer responses and advice to those commenting.

A peak of activity during lockdown

Throughout the lockdown period the app received a peak in activity. There were over 2,000 visits to the notifications and news centre in the app and over 1,700 sessions in the documents section, with people reviewing Coronavirus notices and CIC Meeting Minutes.

The app became a fantastic way to share news with the community during such a challenging time.

The usage of the ‘Report a Fault’ feature also increased from March to July 2020. As more people valued the green spaces available to them and had the opportunity to take in all that their local area has to offer, people shared more suggestions, questions and faults with the Preim team. The app was specifically designed to give residents a quick and easy way to share faults with us – and we’re delighted to see that it’s done just that!

More than just bricks and mortar

Communities are so much more than bricks and mortar – they are a network of neighbours, friends, amenities and green spaces. Tadpole Garden Village is a great demonstration of technology being used to support and facilitate this crucial placemaking.

We hope to see the community apps at both Monksmoor Park and Tadpole Garden Village continue to grow over the coming months as restrictions ease, and in time we hope to see community events return – giving us even more reason to share good news with residents!