Cambridge: getting to know you

I’ve lived in Cambridge for 20 years this July. I love it here. I’ve got some close friends and I feel really at home, especially in the vibrant community around Mill Road. When I arrived with my husband in 1996 it was all new to me. Having lived and worked in London, young free and single, the pace seemed slow and a social life seemed a long way off. Back then I worked at the Science Park in Melbourn and although I met (and remain friends with) some great people, nearly everyone relied on cars, and I missed a spontaneous social life. The ghostly abandoned car park on a Friday evening always depressed me; where was the Friday night piss-up?

Our neighbours were welcoming and great helping us get to know the area. And when our family life started, new friendships blossomed as they tend to. Gradually my neighbourhood became and remains my ‘village’ with all the great things that a small and intimate community brings with it.

One of the things that always takes time is knowing how to get things done. I would ask neighbours, colleagues and friends for recommendations if I needed odd jobs sorted (my husband is useless at this stuff, although he maintains that my unplugging him from the mains one fateful afternoon when changing a broken bulb sealed our relationship). And of course, the internet soon became an essential. But amassing a group of reliable and trust-worthy professionals took a while and involved some costly mistakes.

So I remember what it can be like moving to a new area, and I think I am (I try to be) a good neighbour. When our next door neighbours started renting out their house, we had a regular turn-over of new families. I soon became the person they called on for help. That’s when I came up with the idea forscuseme: helping others kick start the relationship with Cambridge that took me such a long time.

With Cambridge growing so quickly I developed scuseme as a service that would replicate an on-line word-of-mouth recommendation – like a friendly neighbour. It was easy to come up with a name because my daughter used it all the time as a toddler to constantly ask questions. My challenge now is to build the business so that it covers every conceivable local service. But I’m feeling pretty confident. It’s free and easy to use and will provide Cambridge residents with a wonderful source of local talented individuals so I don’t think that it will be difficult to spread the word.

If you are looking for a local recommended tradesperson or home service expert in Cambridge contact us here

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