We could all do with a little joy right now, so here are a couple of ideas to try over the summer (and beyond!) to connect with our neighbours, brighten our streets and spread a little of that community magic. Small things really do make a big difference so get stuck in and do share your ideas with us on Twitter and Instagram, or join our Facebook Group.
1. Step outside and spend a little more time outside your front door
This is a simple way to connect with neighbours passing by and all you need to do is step outside – easy peasy.
2. A smile, wave or hello can go a long way
Smiling is contagious – in a good way! Loneliness is an issue across all ages, and many of us are feeling more anxious and isolated at the moment.
A simple smile or a ‘hi’ could be the only contact a person has had that day and could make a huge difference to how they’re feeling. It might also make you feel happier and a little more connected so be brave and start to wave!
3. Get playful
Awaken your inner child and draw a hopscotch or giant snakes and ladders on the pavement in chalk. You’ll be surprised by how many people will have a go as they walk by – we can’t help ourselves!
4. Make time for a cuppa
Have a natter with a neighbour over a cuppa and don’t forget the biscuits! Whether in a garden, in a park or outside your front doors, you can’t beat a good old catch up.
5. Clean-up your street or local area
Grab a litter picker and some gloves and get started, try to separate the rubbish as you go so you can recycle as much as possible. We’re pretty sure you’ll pick up a few litter picking friends along the way and soon your streets will be spotless!
6. Start a community trail
Set up a trail around your local area for people to follow and explore. You could use existing landmarks or trees to mark out turning points or add painted stones, signs or flags to spot along the way. Try to keep it nature friendly, and if you’re feeling really creative, add clues to make it a bit trickier!
7. Start a rock snake in your community
We spotted this cute idea in Our Community Facebook group, it’s a great way to get the kids busy and crafty too. Decorate the rocks however you like, perhaps with a message of thanks or support, or a colourful painting to brighten someone’s day.
To get your community on board, pop up a sign telling people about it to encourage others to join in – we guarantee spotting the snake will add a little sunshine to someone’s day.
8. Get a group together
You could start a group with like-minded folk to bring your community together. This could be a book club, a community garden or get those steps in by suggesting a neighbourhood walking group. If you’re not feeling a book club, you could take a book you love, and hide it in your local area – you’ll get to share your favourite read and give your book new life, whilst someone else gets to share your experience. Starting something local makes it easier for people to join too.
9. Create your very own fairy house
Create a little magic in your local park by adding a little fairy house or two. Find a spot to locate your tiny house to keep it safe from the worst of the weather (whether that’s snug between branches, or at the base of the tree) and try to keep the materials as natural as you can so it doesn’t end up as litter.
If you’re lucky you’ll see them start to magically multiply as other people join the fun.
10. Go green!
Greening (adding plants, trees and green spaces to an urban environment to make it a better place to live and work) helps people connect with nature, cleans our air and makes an area that little bit prettier! Why not get started by planting a flower in your street and encouraging others to join too?