From flowers in a crisis to practical help

Big things often start as little ideas. It just takes people and companies to believe in them. We’re proud to have helped launch and grow Gather My Crew, a special online support network for people experiencing a crisis. The idea for the network was developed by Dr Susan Palmer, who has spent the better part of 20 years as a psychologist supporting people in crisis.

It wasn’t until Dr Palmer went to help a friend recovering from back surgery that she realised how time- and energy-intensive it can be to coordinate different offers of help when life throws you and your family a particularly curvy ball.

Plenty of people offered to help, but it took hours to coordinate activities and ensure her friend got the kind of help she needed most. (Flowers are always nice, but sometimes a meal or an offer to help around the house is better.)

Through this personal experience Dr Palmer saw how difficult it can be for someone in crisis to manage the many text messages, phone ring-arounds and spreadsheets needed to schedule the who, what, where and when. There had to be a better way.

Dr Palmer combined her passion to build healthier and stronger communities with her clinical knowledge, research and consulting experience to lay the foundations for a free online platform for people in crisis, Gather My Crew.

The businesses she approached to support and build Gather My Crew saw the potential and the difference it could make for those in hardship. Gather My Crew makes it possible for normal life to continue by linking people with their support networks and providing helpers with a wish list of things they could do that would make the most difference to their loved one. Or as Dr Palmer puts it, ‘It has the power to turn ten bunches of flowers into meals, transport to hospital, school pick ups and help with jobs around the house’.

Fenton was behind in the naming, design and branding of Gather My Crew as well as the launch communications strategy, capturing national media attention and building awareness through online social networks. Together with several other companies we were able to support a little idea and help Dr Palmer turn it into something big. Gather My Crew recently reached over 1,000 users across Australia.

By Philippa Settle