IMPORTANT – PLEASE READ TO THE END 

Dear TechForUK Members, and the Tech Industry

Three years ago we set up this network of tech industry people to campaign to give the UK a “Final Say” Referendum on Brexit (we still want that).

With politics in stasis since the election, we’ve decided to become a voluntary tech movement to broadly aid UK society, democracy and its wellbeing using tech and our network.

So in the era of Coronavirus / COVID-19 we cannot stand idly by as this virus affects the UK so badly, along with the rest of the world. If Brexit has taught us anything, it’s that the modern UK is not an island, after all.

So we are asking you to get involved and bring your considerable talents to bear on the situation.

We are now working closely with the volunteers behind the “Coronavirus Tech Handbook”. (They are ‘cousins’ of ours who originally created the Electiontechhandbook)

The Coronavirus Tech Handbook (CTH) has quickly become a huge and important resource.

TechForUK’s aim is to support this new effort, bringing our various tech communities to bear on the issues, and provide organising tools, such as the TFUK Slack, newsletter and other platforms, outlined below.

To give you an idea of how the tech community can help, the CTH has listed many responses to the crisis, under subjects including:

• Datasets on everything related to the outbreak
• Infographics
• Models and Forecasting
• Fighting Mis / Disinformation
• Remote Working & Event Alternatives
• Tools for Scientists
• Resources For Doctors and Nurses
• Volunteering & Organising
• Public health advice, educational summaries, diagnostic, surveys
• Sharing approved isolation Advice

To be clear, CTH is not a place for the public to get advice, it’s a place for technologists to collaborate and make sure the best, verified, scientific advice is shared.

Here are our suggested ways to get involved:

1. Head to the Volunteering section, it focuses on community organising projects and that’s something we have experience with.

Also join the CTH Facebook group.

2. Check out the other sections. Share the handbook to your tech community.

3. Join the specific Whatsapp groups that are relevant to your interests under the various headings from the front page. Many of these are already populated with experts in their fields.

4. CTH needs a PR specialist to help out. To volunteer please email: ed@newspeak.house

Putting information into the Coronavirus Tech Handbook document is will help stop duplication of effort.

To help the TFUK community organise:

Fill out the form to join our Slack, if you are not already in it, to collaborate. You will be invited to the Slack within a couple of hours.

Please join the new TechForUK “Main” WhatsApp Group and the regional TechForUK Whatsapps which are relevant to you below:

Main “Everyone” TFUK Whatsapp Group

Scotland TFUK Whatsapp Group

Wales TFUK Whatsapp Group

Northern Ireland TFUK Whatsapp Group

London-Only issues TFUK Whatsapp Group

Yorkshire & Humber TFUK Whatsapp Group

West Midlands TFUK Whatsapp Group

North West England TFUK Whatsapp Group

South West England TFUK Whatsapp Group

South East England TFUK Whatsapp Group

North East England Whatsapp Group

East Midlands TFUK Whatsapp Group

East Anglia TFUK Whatsapp Group

Twitter: If you want the TFUK community to share or look at tech solutions during the Covid19 emergency use the hashtags #TechForUK, #TechForCOV19, and mention us @TechForUK.

To help people locally in your area
• Set up or join Neighbourhood whatsapp groups for your local streets
• Look at Coronavirustechhandbook.com/communities
• Check out Localhalo

As technologists we can also think about:

1. Spreading CORRECT information following WHO / NHS guidelines

2. Offering advice to those who want to help the most vulnerable in their community (being aware that contact with the elderly could make them more likely to get it)

3. Mapping help for communities, putting resources online, matching individuals to places where organised help is needed.

4. Organising online datasets that are based on real and raw scientific data, without political bias.

A good way to use your skills is to think that every community has leaders who have no idea what to do at this time or how to organise. Every school has a Head Teacher who may not know how to use tech tools to lead their communities, for instance.

As someone in tech, you can do much of that with your eyes closed! So reach out to those local leaders and offer your help. Look at what you can do and figure out what to contribute.

Thank you in advance for getting involved at this time.

The TechForUK Team


Connect with TechForUK:

Join the Slack: techforuk.com/join

Email: info@techforuk.com

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