Why community is important
Have you ever thought about whether you enjoy your community? What part you play in it? Your influence and your impact?
We live in a digital age where we can connect with friends, family and colleagues all over the world in a heartbeat. But what do we know about the people who live right next door to us, or across the street?
And what effect does knowing our neighbours have on us as individuals, on how we feel about where we live, and on society as a whole?
What are connected communities?
Being part of a connected community means knowing who you live next to; saying hello, smiling, waving and stopping for a chat from time to time. It could mean borrowing a cup of sugar, or children playing in each others’ back yards, or inviting people on your street to watch the football at your place. Ultimately, connected communities are residents who look out for each other. Though there’s a bit more to it than just having someone feed the cat while you’re away.
We hear stories about neighbours looking after each other in times of great need. In this wonderful tribute, Emma from Cardiff shares how her street came together for the first time with a Big Lunch. In the years that followed, their community came together to support each other through some very difficult times. Read this lovely story of neighbourly support.
Connected communities are good for everyone
The relationships we have where we live and work have a major impact on our health and happiness — people actually live longer if they have more frequent social contact.
It’s not just health that improves as a result. Having lunch with your neighbours doesn’t sound like the obvious way to tackle crime, reduce loneliness and isolation or quell community tensions, but the people who take part in The Big Lunch tell us:
- they feel less isolated
- they feel safer where they live
- that people from different backgrounds come together and become friends
- that the experience leads people to do more in their communities
We know that connected communities can tackle challenges better when they face them together, and that neighbourliness delivers substantial economic benefits to UK society, representing an annual saving of £23.8 billion in total.
We believe in the power of people
We support the doers, the mucker inners, the DIYers who make good things happen and take action, no matter how little that action may be, because small steps make a big difference.
Everyone starts somewhere. We’ve got everything you need to create and support a community.