How to build a sense of community in your neighbourhood

Posted on Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

Ever wondered how best to build a sense of community in your area? Then here are our top tips for doing so.

Fundraise for a local charity

There’s nothing like making a collective effort for a popular local charity to bring people together – whether it’s your local air ambulance, hospice or another good cause. Perhaps most heartening of all is the significant difference you can make with just a little effort from a number of people. You’ll achieve so much more than by fundraising alone; you’ll have fun, build a sense of community and help a good cause too. Hold that charity coffee morning, cake sale, golf day or pub quiz you’ve been thinking about.

Create a community library

A library is just the place to build a sense of community in your neighbourhood. It might be you have an established local library at which you could volunteer or get involved in activities. Alternatively, give some thought to establishing a library in your neighbourhood, communities have successfully set up small lending libraries in settings as diverse as railway stations and old phone boxes – just like the one in Lewisham.   

Community art    

Get together with local residents to create a piece of community art to brighten up your neighbourhood. If you’re not sure how to go about it or what permissions you’d need, then the fist port of call is to ask your local council, they may even have an arts education officer who could help. You may well have an artist in your community who could lend a hand or help oversee a project. Otherwise, there are a number of organisations and charities that specialise in just such work – simply google ‘community art’ to find a few, then give them a ring to make further enquiries. If you’re in need of inspiration, the take a look at the plethora of activities going on in Hull this year, the Thornton Estate installation is a splash of colour that would brighten up any neighbourhood.

Community gardening

Form a community gardening group, and together you could bring new life to neglected areas of your neighbourhood. Take some tips from the blog of Richards Reynolds – famous for his efforts in the Elephant and Castle area of London. You could also utilise your green fingers to help out local individuals who are no longer able to tend their gardens. Alternatively, get involved in your local ‘in bloom’ initiative, perhaps your whole street could enter the competition or work together to create an eye-catching display. Moreover, it may be that you have a historic garden or a local park in your neighbourhood that would benefit from the ministrations of a volunteer gardening group.    

Street party

Hold a street party in your neighbourhood to build a sense of community. The royal wedding and the Queen’s Jubilee saw a renewed interest in these community events, with a plethora of them going on up and down the country. Just be sure to keep your local council informed of your plans.

So there’s a little food for thought on how to build a sense of community in your neighbourhood and to get you started on a suitable project. Put your thinking cap on to find an activity that would appeal to your neighbours. Do you prefer music to art? Then set up a community choir. Like to play sport? Then book a local sports ground or park for a community game of Rounders or Cricket. The possibilities are endless, so let’s get started.