It’s often said that the old sense of community has disappeared, and that in cities most people don’t even know their neighbours’ names. However, there are many residents who are working to improve their local area, and who do believe in helping their community. Here are some suggestions for what you can do to join in.
1. Cleaning up
Have you ever walked past litter and tutted? Or thought that it’s about time the council cleared it up? Annoying as it is to clear up someone else’s mess, it costs no effort to pick up some garbage and throw it in the bin. Or you can join an organised clear up of a river or local area.
Many local groups depend on volunteers to keep them running. Giving a little of your time can provide kids with a place to socialise or play sports, give parents a place to meet, or alleviate the loneliness of old people.
To bring a community together you have to give people a reason to feel part of it. Events like outdoor concerts help foster a sense of local identity, and meet other residents. Someone has to organise these events, so why not get involved? Join in with existing programmes, or get together with friends and initiate something new.
In these difficult economic times, funding for local programmes is usually among the first areas to suffer cuts, putting clubs, societies and activities at risk. Raising funds can help keep some valuable amenities open and allow local people to continue enjoying them.
5. Help out Neighbours
This is a very simple way of contributing to your community. In the cold weather, it’s really not that difficult to knock on the door of a elderly neighbour and ask if they need any shopping, or clear their path of snow. Even younger people will appreciate it if you take in deliveries, or give them a ride to town.
6. Support Local Businesses and Amenities
How often have we all noticed that a local business or facility has closed, and thought ‘What a shame it’s gone. Pity no-one used it.’ Well, if people don’t support these facilities, then they won’t last! So make an effort to patronise local business, and use local amenities, so that the community can continue to benefit.
For local events to survive they need attendance, so go along and show your support and appreciation. Spending a little money can help cover costs, but your presence also shows that you are interested in what’s going on in your area. It also shows appreciation for the efforts of the organisers.
Are there any issues of local significance that you feel passionately about? Do you want to stop a housing estate being built, or want services improved? Getting involved in a campaign can benefit not only you but your community, and whatever the outcome you can feel that you did something to help.
What is your local area like – does it have a strong sense of community? Do you think it’s possible even in the city? What do you do to benefit your town or district?
Top Photo Credit: jenvteal