The innovative project 't Heerlens Heitje (WESH) is taking a first step towards collabora-tion with social organizations. Alcander and Steunpunt Mantelzorg Parkstad are the first organizations to join the collaboration. These organizations will offer their own tasks as a pilot on the app of 't Heerlens Heitje.
Heerlen was the first European municipality to start a pilot in 2021 with a digital currency with which residents could earn digital money through completing tasks in their own neighborhood. With the project, the municipality stimulates citizen involvement, improves the quality of life in the neighborhoods and the local economy in Heerlen. Since the start of the project 180 tasks have already been carried out and 18 entrepreneurs accept the digital currency as a means of payment. These numbers are still growing. Residents and entrepreneurs who are participating are enthusiastic and see the added value of 't Heerlens Heitje. The collaboration with Alcander and Steunpunt Mantelzorg Parkstad is a new milestone within the project.
New kinds of tasks in the app
In the coming period, both organizations will publish various tasks on the app of 't Heerlens Heitje. Building a flower box with the material of an old sandbox was the first task of JENS (part of Alcander). The task was quickly claimed and carried out. It was an immediate success. And Steunpunt Mantelzorg Parkstad uses ‘t Heerlens Heitje to find residents who would like to go for a walk with a neighbor who is less mobile. Residents of Heerlen can apply for an interview to see if these tasks appeal to them and receive compensation in the form of digital coins (called Heitjes). They can spend the earned reward at the participating businesses in Heerlen.
Manager Jacqueline Koenen of welfare organization Alcander: "Alcander (and the cooperatives Heerlen STAND-BY! and JENS) encourages residents of Heerlen to participate and contribute to society. This is in line with the philosophy of 't Heerlens Heitje. That is why we found each other. Together we will investigate whether the platform can be of added value for our organization. We offer our tasks via the app of 't Heerlens Heitje. We will start small and see what we can learn. If we know it works, we will expand.”
't Heerlens Heitje is an initiative of the municipality of Heerlen in collaboration with Heerlen Mijn Stad, CoTown, Brightlands Smart Services Campus, neighborhood organization GMS, CBS and the VNG. It is financially supported by the Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) fund of the European Union. You can find more information on: www.heerlen.nl/heitje.