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Action 48

Organise a party in your street

What better way to get to know your neighbours and to enjoy the area you live in? Street parties - of all shapes and sizes - have a long history but they are becoming more and more common across the UK.

Why do it?

Building connections with neighbours in our local communities helps to make us feel like we belong, increases levels of trust and helps us feel safer where we live. The great thing about local communities is that we get to interact with people with different backgrounds, ages and interests to ourselves.

Connected communities bring benefits for everyone - for us, our families and those that live near us. Street parties are a perfect way to bring neighbours together - and they're also great fun too!

Where to start

Organising a street party is a great way to bring your neighbours together and have fun. And everyone in your street will feel the benefits long after the party is over.

1. Get the word out - You could start off by stopping by to speak with people face-to-face (which is always nice) or by putting a short note through people's doors. Suggest a date for willing volunteers to get together to start to share ideas and make a plan.

2. Do it together - Remember you don't have to do it all yourself. People will be able to contribute in different ways. Some willl be creative, or like to cook, or musical and so might play on the day. Others might be great at organising or arranging children's activities; others will be practical and could help with getting tables set up. Try to get as many people involved as possible as it helps everyone feel part of it - so welcome all contributions! But remember, some people may not feel able to contribute to the preparations for example due to time constraints or physical disability or simply because they are shy. Try to include them too.

3. Invite everyone - make sure everyone in the street is invited and made to feel they'd be welcome - even if they just want to stop by for half an hour.

4. Build connections - try to have something for everyone - for example: different foods, activities and types of music. Consider different zones in the street, perhaps: a play area, a 'loud' area (for music or dancing) and a quieter area for those that prefer to sit and chat.Try to find a way to get people talking to neighbours they haven't yet met in the street. There are lots of ideas in the resources below

5. It doesn't need to be perfect - the main aim is to get everyone together and feel welcome and to enjoy being together. So if some contributions don't work, it doesn't matter. If the weather looks like it will be bad - try to have an alternative venue (a local hall or garden). If things don't go quite to plan, laugh and find a way around it.

Note: You might need to contact your local council in advance if you plan to block off traffic access to the road.

Resources

  • Top tips on how to organise a street party

  • Annual one-day get together with your neighbours

  • The Amazing Power of Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives

  • Builds the power of communities that work together for the common good

  • Exploring how the arts can inspire kindness, community and social change

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Happiness is contagious

Our happiness influences the people we know and the people they know.

Research shows that the happiness of a close contact increases the chance of being happy by 15%. The happiness of a 2nd-degree contact (e.g. friend's spouse) by 10% and the happiness of a 3rd-degree contact (e.g. friend of a friend of a friend) by 6%.

POSTER #2: RELATING

Connect with people

Relating 200