Brighton and Hove Food Partnership Picnic – Leanne Bird Guest Writer

If you haven’t heard Know My Neighbour week starts next Saturday 21 May. The campaign aims to create a better connected Brighton and Hove through simply saying ‘Hello Neighbour’ and perhaps inviting them to a picnic or a chat over a cuppa.

One of our core beliefs at BHFP is that simply sharing time with people over a drink or meal has the effect of reducing social isolation and where better to start than with your neighbours.

So in the spirit of this fantastic campaign we invited our office neighbours from Community Base and the other residents of the Brighthelm Centre to join us for what turned out to be a very summery picnic (pictured above). With a blanket full of delicious food to share and the sun shining brightly, I enjoyed chatting with people who I often pass on the stairs or see on my morning commute into work.

One of our neighbours, Emily from Renewable World, also thoroughly enjoyed meeting others:

“When I got the email about a picnic with our ‘workday’ neighbours I thought what a great idea. I bought along some food to share and chatted with people who I recognised from working in the same part of town. It was an excellent excuse to say hello and get to know them at last. We live in a great city with so many friendly people why shouldn’t we know our neighbours?”

Join us for a fun family-friendly community picnic

We are also holding a family friendly picnic for everyone at our new community garden Saunder’s Edible Park on Sunday May 21 from 12pm to 3pm. Bring a dish to share or just bring yourself. Why not invite a neighbour along too?

For more information about the picnic go to our events page and discover more about the Saunder’s Park project in a blog by BHFP community gardener Amyas Gilbert.

Across the city there are a range of events for Know Your Neighbour week from a pop-up cafe, live music and craft workshops. If you want to get to Know Your Neighbours either at work or on your street, here are just a few ideas on how to take that first step – saying Hello.

  • How about cooking a batch of cookies and delivering them with a Hello Neighbour postcard available from one of these locations
  • Offer to walk their dog or get the kids together for a playdate
  • Give them a seedling or plant
  • Create a Facebook group for your street & pop a postcard through with the link
  • Invite your neighbours to the local pub quiz
  • Organise a coffee morning inviting people that live near you
  • Start a neighbourhood watch group
  • Create a street Facebook page to share items, ideas, events
  • Share surplus food from the allotment, garden or kitchen

Be sure to share your stories with us here.

Leanne Bird is the Food Partnership’s Project Support Worker
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