• Nina Tumanishvili

Updated: May 26, 2020

The last fortnight has seen a tentative easing of the lockdown in England, hooray!

As parts of society begin to open up over the coming weeks, communication has never been more important. Here are some of the ways our amazing users have been enjoying HelloHub recently...

1. Coordinating to help vulnerable people

The public response to helping out those in need has been one of the most heartening things about this crisis. Whilst some of us take the first tentative steps out of lockdown, many vulnerable people will remain behind closed doors for the foreseeable future. 

It’s so important they don’t get forgotten about - keep doing what you’re doing people! Check in with your local neighbourhood chat to see who needs help out there. 

2. Connect with your neighbours 

Perhaps you’ve recently spoken to that stranger three doors down for the first time, or got to know next door better sharing a cuppa over the garden fence - why stop now?! 

We all know lockdown is miserable, but an amazing way of bringing a little positivity to our lives right now is to come out of it with new and lasting friendships.

3. Connect to local businesses 

Get on top of your lockdown logistics. What shops down the high street are opening? Do they deliver? What are their new opening times? 

It looks likely that certain businesses will slowly be allowed to open in the coming weeks. Contacting local venues via your neighbourhood chat is a great way of staying informed of these changes and sharing that information with others. 

4. Share your lockdown tips and tricks 

We might now be allowed to meet one person from outside our household, but life remains far from normal. 

Got a great recipe worth talking about? Figured out a bullet proof working from home strategy? Don’t horde that juicy knowledge all to yourself - share the love. 

5. Find others with common interests 

Finding shared interests with others is one of the best ways to bond with new or old companions. Whether it be books, music, art, gardening, film, food or furry friends, our users’ hobbies know no bounds. 

Jump onto your local neighbourhood chat and get niche - whatever you’re into there’ll always be someone else mad keen about the same thing. 

6. Have a lockdown rant 

Just plain sick of queuing up at Sainsbury’s? Can’t join another zoom call without your brain exploding? We hear you. 

Although we all know lockdown is necessary, that doesn’t change the fact it truly sucks. Often the best way to deal with your pent up rage is to let it all out.  

7. Have a lockdown laugh 

Once you’ve exhausted anger, the next stop is laughter. When the chips are down, sometimes all you can do is smile. Luckily, the human spirit is super good at giggling. 

Share whatever crap joke, funny story or embarrassing anecdote that’s in your head. I’m serious, the elevation of all our spirits depends on it.

8. Exercise addicts unite!

If lockdown has been good for one thing, and one thing only, it has been outdoor exercise. Okay the gyms are closed, but who wants to be in an air conditioned box when the sun’s out anyway. 

Running, cycling, walking, online fitness tutorials and more have boomed in recent weeks - all of which amounts to one huge potential watercooler moment, virtually of course. 

Sharing local exercise routes and locations, workout tutorials and advice are great ways to stay positive and connected in the current climate.  

9. Advertise and find jobs

Although we are not a job site as such, HelloHub users have surprised us with their ingenuity by advertising for and responding to requests for odd jobs that need doing in the local community. 

With many formal businesses closed, people are turning to the skills of their neighbours to fulfil basic needs - all on a socially distanced basis of course. 

10. Text based games

There’s a lot of fun to be had with just a simple text based interface - if you use your imagination.

Trivia, category listing and never-ending word association are just some of the ways you can entertain yourself and your friends on your local HelloHub neighbourhood chat. 

As with all of the above, don’t be afraid to get creative via your local neighbourhood chat on HelloHub!

  • Nina Tumanishvili

Bored of hearing about the big bad bug? HelloHub is here to help

With the world’s news media locked in a relentless tumble dryer of pandemic coverage, we’d all be forgiven for feeling a little weary of the whole miserable business.

Climbing death rates, daily government press briefings and staring at the inside of our own homes has become the new normal in the UK and beyond. It’s a public health event which is both life threatening for some, and just plain boring for most.

Bereft of social contact, we have looked to both the local and the digital to fill the gaping communal void in our lives.

People are realising, perhaps for the first time in a generation, that they live on streets and in communities full of other human beings. Suddenly our neighbours are no longer a source of suspicion and acrimony but of conversation, comfort and security.

Whilst mind numbing isolation has encouraged us to look closer to home for relief, it’s also made us hugely dependant on technology for many of our social needs. Jobs, birthdays, weddings and all manner of other social and religious gatherings now take place behind a screen. We are living in the time of the Digital Pandemic.

It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, however. Whilst we are all well aware of the human and economic costs of the current crisis, the 24-hour nature of the news tends to keep us locked into a relentless cycle of negative headlines. This does little for our state of mind and obscures seeds of positivity which we all need during these testing times.

Lockdown has seen new connections forged between neighbours, temporary environmental benefits and a re-evaluation of working culture freeing many from the chains of 9–5 office life. The way in which we use digital technology in future might also be improved as a result.

Although vital to our current predicament, influence of tech in our society more broadly, and particularly social media, has arguably kept us glued to screens, stuck in polarising echo chambers and isolated from our real surroundings. If we leave lockdown with an approach to the digital space which unites not divides, we’d surely be better off as a collective.

Such a shift is something we at HelloHub would like to help with, starting right now! HelloHub, the people behind the chat app Tubechat for the London Underground, are launching a free neighbourhood chat service for all of us affected by the lockdown.

The service seeks to use technology to bring people together within local communities, offering a forum for discussing problems and solutions to basic needs, or simply providing a platform to talk and alleviate the sense of isolation we’re all feeling at this time.

Accessible via smartphones, tablets and PCs, the service is completely free, runs without ads, and comes with built-in security measures to keep users safe online. Initially it will cover the Hackney and Brixton areas of London, before expanding to the whole Greater London area.

To access the platform all users have to do is click the link below, choose the chat group local to them, and enter an email address. No data will be shared with third parties and your anonymity will be protected at all times:

Disclaimer — these are not HelloHub posters but we think they are very cool.

Stay safe out there!

Words by Robi O’Cleirigh


Social Media: LinkedIn