Who are we?
We are volunteers who have a full time job elsewhere. We call ourselves the Elves following suggestions from the first followers on the @HelpSheffield account. We like the anonymity of being Elves as it ensures that our real personas don't interfere with the important business of helping.
How did @HelpSheffield begin?
@HelpSheffield began over 6 years ago when a photographer, in Sheffield, posted a Tweet asking for a harpist to perform at a wedding. The planned performer had cancelled due to extreme, unseasonal snowfall. Elf One tried to help by retweeting the request but to no avail. The wedding still needed saving though, so by means of Facebook and through a friend of friend, a violinist (not the same but better than silence) was found, despatched to the venue and the event was saved.
Elf One pondered on this before realising that Twitter could be used for this sort of occasion on a more regular basis and no other account was set up for this purpose and so @HelpSheffield was born.
What do we do?
The idea is simple and rather limitless. People who can’t find answers to their queries tweet us and we reply with the answer. If the answer is something we don’t know or cannot find quickly online then we retweet the question to our followers and they provide the answers. The benefits of this over conventional queries are speed of reply and local knowledge.
The questions range from someone needing a “George Michael impersonator” to advice on where to find a local beer and absolutely anywhere between and beyond. The helping has expanded into promoting events locally, and increasingly, creating our own.
What are our future plans?
As this has been a purely organic and unplanned operation we are prepared to venture into any new territory that helping takes us. In terms of actual territory we now have over 15 active accounts in towns and cities across England. We have set up Help accounts for most major cities and towns across the U.K. we just need people to run them.
Why do we need you?
Quite simply we need people with a positive outlook, a desire to help others, a few spare minutes each day and with a whole lot of love and local knowledge to operate each of our new accounts. This is because we simply don’t have the time or information needed to run every city.
What is in it for you?
The main benefit is “an enormous sense of wellbeing”. Helping people provides account holders with a warm glow, creates community and provides assistance to many less fortunate individuals. As well as these benefits account holders have been invited to various event openings, offered free samples and become a vital resource within their region.