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How Safe Do We Feel In Our Communities?

4 years ago by James_Admin

How Safe Do We Feel In Our Communities?

To feel safe within our homes and bodies is necessary and a human right. How safe we feel has a significant impact on our health and wellbeing. So how do we actually feel about our safety, and what are we doing about it?



Perception of Local vs National Crime Matters


Data from the 2013/14 Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) tells us that we tend to think that crime rates are higher in our country at large than they are within our own communities. Our perceptions of national crime are largely determined by news and social media, whilst our views on local crime are determined by word of mouth. Many of our members have based their feelings of safety in their own communities on an experience, or one about which they heard by word of mouth. “A couple in our town were watching TV when someone came in their back door,stole a handbag and they didn't know until they went into the kitchen, so yes I lock my door when I am in.” -patny


On the opposite side of the safety spectrum, there are many people who continue to hold trust in their communities, and would not change that for anything. This includes around 20% of our members, who either do not lock their door when they’re at home or do not lock their doors at all. Members like phoebe comment, “maybe I should, but [I] don’t.”  Who Still Leaves Their Door Unlocked?


While over 80% of our members do lock their doors when at home, many of these members seem to want to be able to keep their doors unlocked. Justjayne01 tells us, “Always... If I had one of those electronic warning bleeps I wouldn't, but you never know who's about these days. I do have two Jack Russells mind you, who bark at the slightest noise, so maybe I should just leave it unlocked…”


So, we want to feel trust in those around us, but for many of us, this is not a practical reality right now. What do we do about it and how do we change this for our futures?




Should we use home security?


What about home insurance?


Community Building?  (Short term and long-term solutions!)


Shopping Locally


Becoming Active Community Members


Looking to those around us for inspiration


Joining your local Neighbourhood Watch Group (cheesy, I know, but also quite useful!)


Using local, community banks





What is the best means of protection?


We can look to one of the simplest lessons that many of us have been taught since childhood: taking care of our neighbours. If we would like to feel trust in our communities, we need to show that these spaces can be trusted, that we will put our best foot forward to help lift others up. It has been shown that “...burglary is driven by a lack of resources,” that in reducing poverty rates, we effectively reduce the need for crimes such as burglary. This is an opportunity for each of us to show that a feeling of community is of value to us. 


Reducing poverty and making our world a better, safer place is a massive, overwhelming, and ongoing goal for all of society, however, each seemingly tiny decision we make has an impact. There are infinite community building and community action pathways that each of us can involve ourselves in!


Start where you are, with what you can do. Be patient and have faith that every small act done in goodness changes the whole world, tiny bit by tiny bit.



Share your experiences and feelings on safety and community in the comments below!


~ Sam


Are We All Having An Identity Crisis Over Here (and/or There)?

Yep. We’re going to talk about it. Just a little bit, really quickly, and only scratching the surface. 
Regardless of how you voted, if you voted, or who you support: Brexit, Trump, and other political shifts over the past year have made all of us think a little more about who we are. We’ve gotten personal. How we feel about ourselves and others is more apparent than ever. With it out in the open, in debate, on TV, in politics, it’s a question that deserves more thought from everyone. 
One example of a personal question becoming political is the seemingly straightforward, “where do you consider yourself to be from?” 
This question and its nearly infinite answers differ from person to person, depending on anything from a dozen to a hundred and more individual factors. We can begin to boil the discussion down to how we define “from.” Do we consider ourselves to be a part of many places?
This would perhaps depend upon time or experience in a certain place or culture (third culture kids)? Do we consider many places to be within a collective unit (Europe as one identity,) that we feel a part of, or do we see ourselves solely as members of our own country, state, or even a particular region? Are we Southern or Northern, Eastern, Western, English or British, European or Global citizens?
In times like these, we look to our members for their thoughts and experiences. Comments help to clarify the array of perspectives that pour into our poll answers. Some comments suggest that a tiered system in belonging exists for some, allowing for different intersecting identities to hold similar space. Alison35093 comments, “Scottish then British and finally European” whilst latormenta takes a different tack, “I go British, English and then European…” 
Other members feel that a singular identity fits best for them, seen in comments by charmed0ne telling us, “I'm English, not British or European,” and fran65, stating “I was born in Brittany, France but have been in England since 1998. Losing my French as I gain on English.”
Identities, like humans, are creatures which are both untidy and complex. Identity is based upon an intersection of experience, belonging, community, heritage, geography, politics, and more. When it becomes a point of conflict, politics, or public debate, I think it is important for us to consider the multitude of facets that make up who we are and where we come from. 
For us to expect that everyone fits neatly into a single category, in nearly any instance, can lead us to miss the subtlety and nuance that makes us who we are. I am not just an individual because I am not you. I am myself because I am me, and that identity is unique.
Wow. That was a lot. And yet not nearly enough. This year has sparked discussion in many ways, but it has also added a level of importance and urgency to these discussions. These are days, weeks and months in which our thoughts about identity stand to have a real impact on the lives of ourselves and others. It’s time to get our thoughts straight. 
Maybe we should all be sharing more, communicating more, listening more. Perhaps doing so will help bring understanding and harmony to us all. 
Some Resources That We All Might Be Able To Use: 
If this blog has struck a chord with you, please comment below with your understanding and/or experiences of where you are “from.” Do you see it as fluid, concrete or otherwise? 
Until next time! 

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Self-Care During The Holidays

4 years ago by James_Admin

Self-Care During The Holidays


Yes, now is the time when many of us, and our bodies in particular, come under quite a bit of stress while we are preparing for festivities; families; friends; traditions, and of course, all the food!


During the final days of 2016, with so many personal and socio-political shifts occurring simultaneously, we may find ourselves feeling the strain of mentally tying up one year and preparing for the new one to come. Many of us may look to this season as the space between frenzied celebration and upholding or setting new intentions to support our wellbeing.  


Self care is incredibly important throughout the year, however, for those of us who have never considered what self care means to us individually, this December might be the perfect time to dive in! During this winter season, there is much to cherish and celebrate, however, there is also great potential to feel worn-thin.


There are many different approaches to self care, each with their own roots in tradition, religion, nutrition, etc. Some of us may fast, as angie66572 tells us, “I do religious fasts, it's very good for the body and the soul.” Others practice meditation, as member penzancelfc says “I meditate before a quick shower and cup of tea while working at my laptop.” Everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. Take this time to relax, explore, and find what makes you feel taken care of.


While we may feel great pressure from many sides, whether it is finding the perfect gifts, making our homes as festive and welcoming as possible, keeping fit during the holiday temptation, or even remaining calm, kind and loving with your family, it is important to remember to be patient with yourself. Allow yourself to be as you are and to feel how you feel. Even if it’s not necessarily where you would like to be or how you see yourself in the future, allowing yourself the space to feel exactly as you do is vital to staying sane in the face of stressors.


First and foremost, in setting our goals and ideals for ourselves, it is important that we recognize and accept where we currently stand with love and patience. Just as we try to do this with those we love, we should consider doing it with ourselves. Attempting to shift your thoughts and mindfulness onto listening and caring for yourself this year may make a world of difference for how you feel, how you interact with those you love, and how you feel about this holiday season.



Some basic self-care tips!


1. Wash. Your. Hands. - Seriously, all the time. I know we hear this everywhere, but it truly is the easiest way to avoid the dreaded winter cold, or worse! Take care of your hands, take care of your body.


2. Breathe. Yet again, a true classic of which it is always worth being reminded. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your family, take a break. Walk outside, breathe. Focus on your breath: in through your nose, out through your mouth. It really helps, I promise.


3. Be mindful especially of what you’re putting into your body. Now, I’m definitely not saying restrict yourself, it is the holiday season after all! Merely take note of what makes your body feel good and what makes you feel bad may help you find more of the things that make you feel good!


4. Be thoughtful in your words and in the ways you think about yourself. Our self-talk is crucial in being our own support structure. While things may get stressful, think about whether the words you’re saying to yourself are helpful or harmful. Think positive :)


If you’re needing a little more, here are some helpful resources on self-care!


30 Simple Ways To Take Care of Yourself During The Holidays

5 Tips for Self-Care During the Holidays

Remembering Self Care During The Holidays

Holiday Eating Survival Tips


Let us know how you’re feeling, what your self-care plans are, and if you have any tips/tricks to share with us!


Take care :)


~  Sam


"Can You Survive Without Your Mobile Phone?" The Importance of Under 20s

I know, lately it feels like all anyone wants to hear about is what young people think. They’re on top of what’s “trending,” they know what’s “cool,” they are the future. And yes, companies know and use this. Now, Viewsbank is calling for more people under 20 to join, which to some of us may feel like the same old tunnel vision that caters only to the younger population. But let’s take a second to look into why this might actually be an important effort, for each and every one of us, and even why we should consider getting involved ourselves.



The importance of demographic spread and inclusion in population research


Why do we need representative samples? Making sure all relevant types of people are included in our polls is crucial to reducing bias as much as we possibly can. This gives us more reliable, balanced information, which is great for everyone who views our poll results!


Yep, that sounds really research-y and I do apologise. Stepping back from the data and towards the fun stuff, let’s look at one of our recent polls: 


“Do you think you could ‘survive’ without your mobile phone?”


To understand the results drawn from any form of research, be it polls, surveys, or scientific experiments, we must consider who is behind the information we are receiving. Taking this into consideration allows us either to think about the results “with a grain of salt” or, to go so far as to rely upon this information as fact, or at least, near-fact.


Within the mobile phone survival poll, age is key in considering the results. Most under 20s (and even above!) have no idea what a world without mobiles would look like. They’ve never known anything before the age of instant answers, directions, and connection. They genuinely do not know what it is like to call the voicemail at home for messages or to set a predetermined meeting point and to need to stick to it.


The world has dramatically shifted over the past 20 years, so much has changed about the ways in which we interact. When our poll tells us that 64% of people say that they can live without their mobile, what are we really hearing? A level of clarity can be provided when looking to the comments. We can see that some answers are based upon past experience without mobiles: duncan36829 tells us living without mobiles could be done “quite easily, just the same way as I did before they were invented.”


Other members provide a reminder of how the world around us has changed, lynneac said, “no, but only because I need it for work, apart from that I could happily survive without it.”


These instances show us why different perspectives are so important to consider in our research. Right now, we’re a little short on Viewsbankers under 20, so their viewpoint may not be being accurately represented. We’re doing all we can to involve more of these perspectives. If possible, we’d like your help in doing this! (Because having a balanced group to poll from helps all of us!)


So, if you, or anyone you know, can’t survive without a mobile, likes Pokémon, or is simply under 20, spread the word about our current giveaway!


There’s some crazy gifts up for grabs, including two brand new Nintendo 3DS consoles, each worth £150, and twelve copies of the brand new Pokémon Sun and Moon video game, worth £32. That's more than £500 worth of prizes!


 Happy Sharing!




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Giveaways Galore!

4 years ago by James_Admin

Giveaways Galore!

We’ve got a brand new giveaway! This one is open only to people aged 20 or under. We’re giving away two brand new Nintendo 3DS consoles, each worth £150, and twelve copies of the brand new Pokemon Sun and Moon video game, worth £32. Altogether that's more than £500 worth of prizes!
The competition runs until midnight on 19 December 2016. We’ll pick two Overall Winners, who will get a Nintendo 3DS console each and a copy of Pokemon Sun or Moon, as well as ten runners up, who will each get a copy of the game.
Anyone aged 20 or under can enter the prizedraw by clicking this link: Viewsbank's Pokemon Giveaway
Want to know why this competition is only open to people aged 20 or under? Want to know more about our new regular competitions? Read on!
The reason we’re limiting this giveaway to people aged 20 or under is that we need a balanced spread of people: of all ages, regions, gender and financial situations. We strive to make our research nationally representative, which means that we work hard to try and recruit people to Viewsbank from all walks of life.
Right now, we’re short on Viewsbankers who are aged 20 or under, which is not good for the data and research that we’re producing! If you are able or would like to, please share this competition with anyone you know who is eligible to enter: Viewsbank's Pokemon Giveaway 
As ever, thank you for all your help!
Finally, I wanted to give you a quick update on what Viewsbank is doing for you. In addition to all of your regular Assignments, and daily Standard Admin Polls worth 10p a vote, we’ve started running a handful of giveaways on our social media pages.
Every Friday before midnight on our Facebook page, we run our #IntroduceYourself game. All you have to do is fine that week’s #IntroduceYourself post and comment on it with your Viewsbank name. If you’re a winner, you’ll find out on the Saturday, and get £10 credited to your account!
Congratulations to Viewsbankers Saetana and Pennydragon, who have won in the first two weeks respectively!
On the last Friday of every month, we run #ViewsbankFridays on Twitter. Share a poll – your own or just one you like – using the Twitter button, and tag it with the phrase #ViewsankFridays. One winner and two runners up will be chosen at random, with the winner getting £100 and the runners up getting £25 each.
This month, Rach_0695 won the competition and £100 in their account, with Panda762 and Sanduni cashing in with a hefty runner up prize each of £25!
Check back in on our Facebook and Twitter pages regularly for these promotions and more. Not a fan of social media? Keep logging in and checking your emails for monthly prizedraws, Assignments, daily polls and more.
Happy Viewsbanking!

The Scrooge Crisis, Or: How To Holiday In 2016


To many of us, this year feels like one which is particularly intense for our closely held beliefs: be they political, religious, personal, emotional, or spiritual. We have felt a collective shift in the force and directness of these discussions around the world, and many of us are still struggling to decide what that means for our daily lives and the decisions that we might make. With the holiday season fast approaching, here at Viewsbank we found that many of our members are concerned in one way or another about how and if they will celebrate this year.


The holiday that is being called into question most often is Christmas. How will people celebrate? Should we decorate as we usually do? How do we feel about shifting norms about the collective celebration of this holiday? These questions and many others have been circling our polls, so I wanted to provide my best attempt at providing constructive holiday cheer! 



First off, deep breaths. These are tough topics and no one really gets everything right all the time, agreed? The best we can do is air our thoughts and concerns. We can ask questions, listen and, yes, celebrate! Holidays are sacred and deeply important to those who choose to celebrate.


While many celebrate holidays based on religious teachings, others celebrate for more communal, familial, or personal reasons. Whatever the reason most, if not all, of these celebrations are rooted within the ideals of love, joy, gratitude, and sharing. These are the things that make us human and bring us together, regardless of what makes us different.


Recently, there have been many discussions on inclusiveness during the holiday season, which many are confused and occasionally frustrated with. It is important to note that this is a hefty topic to be handled with great care and a willingness to be open to discussion and criticism. A short and sweet attempt at a breakdown of this massive and personal topic is that to some, it may seem that it is a subject which asks to reduce certain traditions or beliefs.


However, in many instances, the questions being asked come from a place of inclusiveness in its most basic form, making sure that everyone feels that they are valued and welcome. Holidays are important. Making sure that our neighbours and community members feel their celebrations are welcome and respected is a wonderful way to celebrate this winter.


Holiday Decorations: Do We? Should We?


In polling our Viewsbank members, we found over 60% of our panellists stated that for varied reasons they will not be decorating, and in particular not for Christmas. Around 30% of people have either decorated in the past or will be decorating their homes this holiday season.


Comments show that people feel decorations are either too costly or too showy to do themselves. In spite of this, many have voted in support of other people decorating their homes. Viewsbank member Simons123, stated that decorations are “...expensive to do well, but love driving around the streets to see other houses” and bumperlady added “I don't decorate outside as I am in a block of flats, however I love seeing the decorations of others and it brightens things up and looks really festive.”


 These people’s thoughts show us that while many of us may not have planned to decorate our own homes, these gestures still matter, and make a difference to others.


Whatever your belief system, holiday, or reason, if you are looking for ways to display or share celebration this holiday season, here are a few tips and tricks we’ve found.


-Culturally Sensitive Holiday Decorations

-How Can I plan Inclusive Holiday Celebrations?

-The Benefits of Holiday Decorations for Your Business

-Holiday Tips to Make Celebrations More Inclusive

-Holiday Celebration Tips For The Workplace

-Inclusive Holiday Practices

-Guidelines For Holiday Decorations


PS: Don't Forget The Environment!


I know, I know, we are constantly hearing about recycling and reducing, so here’s the tiny reminder that you knew was coming about the opportunities you have to reuse boxes and wrapping paper, or to buy recycled paper! Here’s some earth-friendly (and very beautiful,) ideas to check out. 


PPS: Learn About Inclusivity

Learning more about inclusiveness is an ongoing process and this is a massive, personal topic. If you feel curious, want to discuss, have questions, or just generally feel unsure, you may find these resources helpful!


Ciao for now!

~ Sam



Twitter, Facebook And £160 Worth Of Prizes, Oh My!


This is a quick missive to let you know that once again we're running our #IntroduceYourself competition on Facebook. We will be doing this every Friday, and the rules are simple: comment with your Viewsbank username on our #IntroduceYourself post on Facebook before midnight for a chance to win £10 credited to your account. 


We know that some of you might not be comfortable sharing your username, so we've come up with a different competition on Twitter called #ViewsbankFridays which we'll be running on the last Friday of every month. We're paying out £150 for #ViewsbankFridays, with £100 going to the lucky winner's Viewsbank account, and £25 each to two runners up.


How do you enter #ViewsbankFridays? Simple: click the Twitter 'share' button under a poll on Viewsbank. Add #ViewsbankFridays to your tweet on the last Friday of each month before midnight. Sharing a poll from Viewsbank with the phrase #ViewsbankFridays constitutes one entry.


Winners of #IntroduceYourself on Facebook and #ViewsbankFridays on Twitter will be contacted on Saturdays and announced on Sundays. 

Good luck, and have fun!


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#IntroduceYourself To Us On Facebook

4 years ago by James_Admin

#IntroduceYourself To Us On Facebook


Hi everyone!


I'm delighted to let you know that we're starting a new weekly prize draw!! If you go to our Facebook account and comment on our #IntroduceYourself post before midnight with your Viewsbank username, you'll be in with a chance of winning £10 for your Viewsbank account!


Click here to go to our Facebook page and comment with your Viewsbank username and #IntroduceYourself for a chance to win £10! 


We'll be running this competition every Friday. Make sure you comment on our #IntroduceYourself Facebook post before midnight with your Viewsbank username to enter. The winner will be chosen at random, entries close at Midnight!


Happy Viewsbanking!




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The Deal With Black Friday

4 years ago by James_Admin

The Deal With Black Friday


Until a few years ago Black Friday was typically reserved for Americans filled to the brim with Thanksgiving dinner. In 2013, everything changed after ASDA ran its own Black Friday campaign. By 2014 retailers in the UK had begun slashing their prices leading up to and on Black Friday itself, in line with the American sales calendar. This year, Black Friday falls on November 25th and to many, this day of extreme sales signifies the beginning of the holiday shopping season- be it dreaded or celebrated!  


Although a large amount of shoppers will battle it out in queues and in stores on Black Friday, many retailers are expecting the majority of deals to be done online. This increasing trend is thanks to the millennial cousin of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, which was first introduced in 2005 to encourage more people to use online shopping. It’s worked, with consumers spending nearly as much on Cyber Monday as they do on the traditional Black Friday.


While some of our members are above the hype, with 45% saying they will not be taking part in Black Friday, a significant 36% are planning to spend some amount of money on the sales, whilst around 18% are unsure when it comes to their spending on Black Friday.  


A Turning Tide on Black Friday?


Due to the immense amount of money spent on products on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, at more than £3.3bn spent in 2015, this day is seen by many as contributing solely to mass consumerism. This sentiment was summed up by one of our members, as “buy[ing] stuff I don’t need or want just because it’s discounted” -latormenta. Many have called for the creation and support of an Anti-Black Friday movement, which has taken multiple forms over the past few years, from Buy Nothing Day, #OptOutside Day, Green Friday, Green Monday, or, simply, Anti Black Friday Day. While some may choose to boycott the day entirely, others are calling for a more conscious re-purposing of where we spend our money on this day (and every day.)


Where we spend our money matters. With each purchase, we have the opportunity to support the kind of society that we want to be living in, and the systems that we want to be working for and/or with us. This seems like a large task, but I’m choosing to be the optimist who believes that if we all make one small, conscious decision differently, it can truly change where and how we spend in the future.


Whether you plan to participate in Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or just your everyday shopping over the weekend- here are some tips!


1. Above all: be safe, be kind, be human!

Violence and group-mentality are themes typically likened with super sales, especially the mother of all super sales, Black Friday.

2. Have a plan

If you are thinking of doing Black Friday- you should do it right, right? Know where you are going, know what you need, know what the sales are. Know your options.

3. Be a Conscious Shopper

Yes, this is a tall order in today’s world, but the power of our wallets is much greater than we think. Even the tiniest choices matter.

Ways to do this- (it’s easy, I promise)

  1. Do your research- where do the products you want to buy come from?
  2. Support local businesses!
  3. Buy from small businesses (usually, but not exclusively local)
  4. Use this list of 50 Ethical Businesses to Support on Black Friday (or any other day!)


If you have any great businesses or tips to add, please do go ahead and comment! Or even better, why not share this nlog on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter by using the buttons below?


Happy shopping (or not!)








#DataPollen - Do You Follow Viewsbank On Twitter?


Birds, bees - here at Viewsbank we like to think they go together like peas in a pod. And what better way to complement Twitter's little blue bird than with our own busy bee? Every day, starting today, we're going to be sharing #DataPollen on our Twitter account. 


#DataPollen will be one interesting fact a day that we've learnt from polls on Viewsbank. If you have a suggestion, or want to add your own fact, why not share it with us using the hashtag #DataPollen? We'd love to start a conversation with you.


If you haven't seen our Twitter account, you can follow us here


Have a lovely evening!