We’re encouraging neighbours to tell us their stories of getting to know their neighbours. Please feel free to tell us yours!
“Before being involved with Know My Neighbour I hadn’t thought about and didn’t have the confidence to connect with my immediate neighbours. I started to make an effort to say hello to my neighbours on either side and chat with them over the garden wall and with my neighbour who lives above me. Now we have mini festivals in the garden (we all share a love of fires and all have fire pits so this was an obvious way to join together and socialize with each other), we share looking after each others cats, swap gardening tool and tips and one of my neighbours has been inspired to start chatting to an older lady who lives alone on the street – they discovered a shared love of drumming and are off to a class shortly. For my children, who initially said “why do we want strangers in our house and garden mummy?” getting to know our neighbours has been a revelation and from this they have developed relationships, which they had never thought of before and which go beyond friends and family. My son has learnt to play pool (my neighbour’s pool table is in the garden!), build fires and my daughter gets to play with my neighbour’s rabbits.
We are a far happier community as a result of Know My Neighbour and know that we can call on each other if we do need help. For example, I had a flood in my basement and was able to borrow my neighbours towels and dehumidifier which sorted out the problem quickly and minimised the damage to carpets and furniture. When my drain got blocked and I was unable to use my washing machine my neighbour lent me his.”
Getting to Know my Neighbours
“Up in North Moulsecoomb we had our second annual Big Lunch, on a green patch in Staplefield Drive. We combined it with a one hour long street play, which involved closing Wheatfield Drive to traffic. For this I had to knock on every door and ask for signatures for my petition to the council. If we got 2/3rds in favour the free license for road closure would be granted. I was nervous because most neighbours use their car a lot to get about and might feel inconvenienced. How pleased I was that every single person who opened the door signed in favour of letting children play on the road!
More than 20 people joined our BBQ by the roadside. We had bunting up and a sun shade. Some neighbours lent us tables even if they could not make it themselves. The local fisherman contributed fresh mackerel to the BBQ. The sun was blazing. We met some new faces, some of which are older people living alone. We started at 1pm and did not stop till 5! The children played on their scooters and drew on the road with chalk and water. A lovely day. Passersby smiled at the scene- we invited them but often they seemed a little shy.
Later a neighbour knocked on my door to report that some people sent their apologies but would love to take part next year! We’ll definitely do it again.”
“I got my postcard from my lovely neighbour, Number 38, who really are the heart of our street.”
Just a few weekends ago, Friends of Westdene Green hosted a community picnic and celebrated The Barn coming back into community hands. You can read more about this community event here.
“It was such a treat to share lunch with so many of our work neighbours, both from Brighthelm and Community Works next door. There were a few new faces, as well as friends I haven’t seen in a while, so the catching up over food was lovely. Can’t wait to do it again!”
The houses either side of ours are inhabited by students and they’ve both just been re-let to new groups of students. I picked up some of your postcards during the Festival in May and I posted one through the house to the right of ours last week. They came round 5 days later with a batch of homemade fairy cakes!! The house to the left has just been re-inhabited this week so I’ll put a postcard through..