A Rotherham-born social media strategist is using his skills to help his hometown shake off its ‘negative reputation’.
Fed up of seeing his home town’s name dragged through the dirt, 28-year-old Andrew Blakeley has set up a new Twitter account, @UnitedRotherham, to let the people of Rotherham have their say about the town. Each week a different Rotherham resident will take over the account to tweet about their fond memories and experiences of the town, in a bid to showcase its positive elements, which Andrew feels are often overlooked.
He said: “We’re all too aware of bad news from the town that hits the headlines, but there are many wonderful sides, people and stories to Rotherham that go unnoticed.
“It’s early days, but this project puts the Rotherham narrative back into the hands of the real people, allowing them to show off all that makes our little town home.
“Strangers only seem to know Rotherham for Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food drama when mums were pushing chips to their kids through the school gate – and now this horrendous child abuse story.
“The dream is that the Twitter account will paint a really diverse picture of what is a good town, that’s been tarnished by a few very bad people and some inept councillors.”
Andrew lived in Rotherham until the age of 18 when he went to York University.
He now lives in London due to his job, but still returns to the town regularly to visit family and friends.
To take his project forward, Andrew is looking for Rotherham residents to run the Twitter account for a week, posting a minimum of three tweets a day.
For details, email unite firstname.lastname@example.org