Spreading neighbourliness beyond your street!
Build on the friendly connections made on your street to help others...
Why not join up with your neighbours to make a street-long collection of food, warm clothes and other necessities for people who might be struggling at this time of year?
That's what a street in Bristol is doing this December. Over 60 residents were posted invitations to get involved with making a communal donation to the local foodbank and refugee welcome centre.
Those wanting to join in are being delivered a collection bag and a list of items that the centres are particularly in need of at this time of year- neighbours can choose to donate to either organisation or both, and there's also the opportunity to make a gift-aided donation of money too.
So far 25 households have signed up with more joining in every week... The street is going to keep collecting throughout December to give people the chance to keep adding to their donation bag every time they stock up for themselves at the shops. The street's bags will then be gathered together in the new year to help re-stock the centres when the open up again in January.
This time of year it's easy to get caught up in the compulsion to buy more stuff. This simple initiative is a great way to share the generous spirit of Christmas beyond friends and family.
Dubbed The Kindest Street in Bristol by local BBC Radio Bristol, Falmouth Road residents are keen to spread the message that this is an idea that can be replicated anywhere- it just takes a small bit of organisation and some good will.
It's another example of how the connections made between neighbours - through initiatives such as street parties, playing out sessions and by generally looking out for each other (particularly the more vulnerable, isolated or lonely) - can be genuinely life affirming, even life-changing, and can have effects that go much further than a street itself.