The Wychwood Post

WychwoodpostIn 2010 the idea of a community-based social media group began to take shape. When I moved back to the Wychwoods in early 2011, I met Amanda Clarke who told me about a Facebook group that she had recently set up to share information between local mums about children’s groups and activities. At the time my son was 3 and Amanda’s son was 2 and initially we represented the primary ‘audience’. This became school-based information as those pre-schoolers grew up.

Over the years the Facebook group has developed to a place where a wide variety of local information – ‘Everything Wychwood’ – is shared. Originally called, tongue-in-cheek, ‘Yummy Mummies’, the name was changed in 2018 to The Wychwood Post after an online vote, incorporating ‘yummy’ dads and grandparents, and those that were not parents but appreciated a place to request and share information relevant to the area.

On any given day you can find out about a local group, a recommendation for a carpet-fitter, a lost cat, a missing school jumper, someone needing the telephone number to book a village hall, some wellingtons for sale, information on a road closure, a report of snow in Chipping Norton… It really is very varied and extremely useful. Two related sites, Wychwood Businesses and Wychwood Mums’ for sale/give away/wanted, cater for particular adverts and free-up The Post for general information and discussion.

There are currently 1,355 people in this online community. Anyone with a Facebook account can find The Wychwood Post and apply to join but it is a Private Group which means that only Post members can see the ‘posts’ that have been contributed and add their own posts or comments.

The Admin Team’s role is to monitor applications and ensure that all posts are appropriate for this group. It can be challenging when posts turn into heated debates and we will be alerted that a post has a high level of interest, then ensure that the contributions are
adhering to the Group rules, roughly summarised: members live locally; give more to the group than they take (no spam!); are kind and courteous; show tolerance to diversity; respect everyone’s privacy. We have been known to turn off comments on a post and occasionally remove a post. We are able to warn people that their post is breaching the rules and if a member continued to flout rules we could remove them from the group. We’ve not yet had to do this but some people have removed themselves if they don’t like being warned or have had their post deleted.

I think Amanda’s initial idea to set up a local information group on Facebook has been a
valuable addition to the local area. I see it continuing to grow, remaining an excellent, responsive and interactive way to share valuable information across the Wychwoods and surrounding area.

Nik Ford

April – May 2020