28th September is Good Neighbour Day, so it’s the perfect time to plan some special activities to celebrate and support the community where you live. Why not rekindle the friendly bonds with those around you and reach out to new neighbours in your community? We could all use some extra connection these days!
Celebrate and build your community
Respecting everyone’s comfort level right now is important. Not everyone is ready for indoor gatherings or even face-to-face chats outside without masks. But that doesn’t mean you can’t safely reach out in a way that’s comfortable for everyone.
- Bake something special or share your harvest. Surprise your neighbours with a little baked treat. Be mindful of potential allergies and include an ingredient list so they know it’s safe. If you’ve been growing fruits or vegetables in your greenhouse, garden or balcony, you could also share your extra fresh produce with those around you.
- Dial the phone. Check in with your neighbours, particularly seniors and those that live alone. Being someone who cares and is there when needed is a wonderful way to help build a supportive and caring community.
- Introduce yourself. A lot may have changed in your neighbourhood over the past year and a half. If new families have moved in, take some time to safely introduce yourself and welcome them to the community.
- Plan a gathering. Not ready for a party just yet? That’s perfectly fine — but it doesn’t mean you can’t talk to your neighbours about a get-together in a few months, or even next spring, when everyone is more comfortable with it. Chat about your plans for a BBQ or even a street party and get excited about having something to look forward to together.
- Help a neighbour paint their home or tidy up their garden. There are so many outside jobs to be done before the winter, and some people don’t have the time or physical ability to get it all done before the snow flies. Even an hour of your time would mean a lot to someone struggling to get their chores done.
Support your community
If you’re able, reach out to the broader community by supporting local charitable organisations and looking for ways to make your community safer, happier and stronger.
- Adopt a grandparent. Check with a local senior home to find out if there is a resident who has few, if any, visitors. Adopt him or her. Send cards and small gifts, and call and visit if it’s safe.
- Make cards to donate to a hospital or nursing home. Seniors and those in hospital love cheerful surprises, so gather your crafty friends and create handmade cards to donate to local facilities near you. How Stuff Works has some great card-making tips and inspiration.
- Volunteer with Foresters. Every year Foresters Financial supports our members with grants to help them organise inspiring Community Volunteer activities. Foresters members can apply for a Community Volunteer grant of up to £2,000 that provides funding to help make a positive impact in their local communities. If members see an immediate need, they can also apply for a Foresters Care grant, which is a one-time grant of £200 that can be used for local support initiatives, including hosting a food drive, putting together care kits for a local shelter or cleaning up a park – the possibilities are endless!
Foresters members can visit MyForesters.com for more information and to apply for grants, or to find out about other Foresters volunteer opportunities right in their own neighbourhoods.