Examples of using texting

How To guides

Examples of using texting

A very small community group

Bradley Tenants and Residents Association

Bradley Tenants and Residents Association use text messages to keep in touch with local people.
Mandy Boatswain-Tomkin, who set up the service, explains: “We send out news about everything from free home security advice to children's events. But if we waited to put that in a printed newsletter, lots of it would already be out of date, so local people would miss out.”

One of the most useful features of texting is sending last minute reminders. “If there is something going on in the evening,” Mandy says, “We can send out a quick text in the afternoon to remind people. We know the message will get through because people always check their texts. Nothing else works so well.”

Sending out texts also increases visits to the TRA website. “Each text to Bradley people results in an immediate peak in visits to the local community blog. A recent text resulted in 104 visitor hits on the blog”

Mandeep Hothi of the Young Foundation has been studying the use of digital technology to help local communities across the country. “Bradley TRA have got it spot on.” Mandeep says, “they are using simple technology that everyone understands to make sure local residents get useful information fast. This could work anywhere in the country.”

The service also has the full support of local councillors. Cllr Ken Smith said “This service is a great example of our community coming up with good ideas and putting them into action. As ward councillors we've already used the service to make sure local people know how to get in touch with us.”

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A small mental health group

Coplestone Together is a members group for people with mental health concerns in Peckham, South London. The group meet weekly for a shared lunch and to work in a community allotment together.

Members of the group enjoy getting Julia's messages, and find them valuable.

“They make you feel as though somebody or something out there knows you are alive.” says John. “They make you smile if you are a bit down.”

Another member, Karen, says “The messages make the difference to whether I come or not.”

Coplestone Together use text messages as a simple, powerful tool help people get together and support each other. By supporting each other, the members of Coplestone Together reduce the cost on hard pressed public services.

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How to guides

How to register

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How to create a list

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How to send out a message

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Step by step guide to running a project using ActivistSMS

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Our Service

An ActivistSMS account costs £300 per year, and this includes 2000 texts to send out.

You can register and get 20 texts to try out the service without any commitment.

Features of the our service include:

  • hands on introduction and training for staff in using ActivistSMS
  • service development consultation - how best to use ActivistSMS for your organisation
  • ongoing phone and email support
  • an unlimited number of text message mailing lists to send messages to groups of people
  • reply individually to people who send you messages


Andrew Wilson
andrew AT thumbprint DOT coop
07980 224 927

Customer Support

If you have any questions about using Activist SMS, either about how the website works, or what you can use the service for, please email andrew AT thumbprint DOT coop or ring on 07980 244 927

Your questions help us improve the service so we are always happy to hear from you - please do get in touch.

Guidelines for Responsible and Effective Use

Text messages are a very direct form of communication, which is what makes them such a powerful tool.

Based on long experience we recommend you follow these guidelines:

  • A maximum of three messages per week to any list.
  • Do not add people to lists without asking them.
  • Do not pass on mobile numbers to other organisations without permission.
  • Make sure messages you send out are relevant.
  • Messages sent on any day of the week, between 8am and 10pm, are usually acceptable, with early evening the most effective time.

Common Sense Responsibilities when using ActivistSMS

By using ActivistSMS you take responsibility for all of the content of the messages you send, and the consequences of anything that happens as a result of sending those messages.

Messages you send are almost always received, but sometimes things like network coverage can mean they don't get through. We don't guarantee that messages have been delivered, or that messages sent to you will be received.

Proving that a message has been sent doesn't prove it's been received. If you need that level of certainty, ring people up, or tell them to ring you.

We are always looking for ways to improve the service, and sometimes this might mean the way the website looks or works might change.

If you don't use ActivistSMS responsibly, we'll let you know what is unacceptable, then if needs be suspend your account and you won't be entitled to a refund.