Connecting with Neighbours
Throughout lockdown, one of the amazing positives has been the way that neighbours have connected and supported each other, particularly the elderly, vulnerable and those at risk of loneliness.
Right at the start of lockdown, Eden Communities and others promoted a Community Action Response to the crisis. A template letter one woman made to put through neighbours’ doors has been widely shared using the hashtag #viralkindness and a website called Covid-19 Mutual Aid lists a huge number of local support networks so you can find one near you or start and register one.
Street communities that were already well connected, sometimes via street parties or play streets (see here research on how play streets build community), had a good head start and were able to quickly identify vulnerable people on their street. Many other streets have set up new Facebook or Whatsapp groups to stay connected and co-ordinate support. Conversely, despite not being able to physically get together people may well know more neighbours than ever before, forming a great basis for positive community action going forward.
Community connection as we emerge from lockdown
The Big Lunch went ahead this year in a distanced way, and this kind of thing could be a good place to start. If you are interested in the idea of having a ‘real life’ street party or regular play street sessions a bit later on, now could be a good time to raise the idea with your neighbours and even approaching your council to ask if they would support this. We’ve put together some useful information on how play streets could be a good way to ’emerge’ from lockdown.
To find out whether your council already has a supportive policy, search our map. And you can read personal accounts of how playing out sessions help to build community as well as giving children a chance to play freely in our parent stories. Or browse our blog (search under community). Here are a few to start you off: