As lock down begins to ease across the UK, many are suffering from social anxiety so it’s important to sustain this community camaraderie whilst easing back into socialising beyond Covid.
The pandemic has also undoubtedly bought about a renewed sense of community spirit not seen since war time. Rooted in community, there have been a wealth of positive stories – from standing on doorsteps clapping for frontline workers, to local heroes such as Captain Tom offering a glimmer of hope and capturing the heart of the nation.
The following guide compiled by HP offers advice and tips for people wanting to re-enter society and spread a bit of local cheer amongst their neighbours.
1. Spread the rainbow of colour by decorating windows. With the rise of remote working and home-schooling, at-home offices are here to stay. Continue to spread the joy with a rainbow of colour by decorating your windows post pandemic – it’s also a great talking point to break the ice with your neighbours. So whether it’s Father’s Day or the summer holidays, HP Printables allows you to print, download, and share pre-formatted content. Fun for the kids to colour or full colour options available for decorating. And why not print a few for your neighbours to spread the fun.
2. Combat lockdown loneliness by borrowing your neighbours pet. The pandemic has seen an enormous surge in puppy sales with many people working from home. In fact, a recent survey by Mars Petcare reveals that more than eight in 10 parents found that their family pet help their child feel less lonely during lockdown, with more than three-quarters feeling that day-to-day interactions with their cat or dog reduced their child’s stress and anxiety. Whilst that’s not an option for everyone, there is a solution – Borrow My Doggy. BorrowMyDoggy connects dog owners with trusted local people who would love to look after their dog. They make it easy to arrange walks, playtime, overnight stays or holidays. The aim is to help dog owners when they need it, give dogs more exercise and playtime and to allow people without a dog to spend quality time with one. Win-win (or a woof-woof) situation for everyone involved.
3. Transform your urban environment by planting a street tree. Life is better with street trees. They’re a public asset and belong to all of us, so it’s up to us to make sure they’re recognised and valued. Woodland Trust has helped 500 community groups to celebrate and protect their street trees. They also worked with local authorities across the UK to put in place policies that recognise the true value of trees in urban environments. Visit Woodland Trust to download your free street tree celebration starter kit. Or for those who’ve already got a tree, why not buy a beebomb, they just need to be scattered onto cleared ground to create a wildflower meadow that will #bringthebeesback.
4. Get to know your neighbours by organising a street party – Bringing neighbourhoods together is just as important in good times as it is in times of need. The Nextdoor app is where communities come together to keep a local shopkeeper in business. Where neighbours exchange recommendations for babysitters, plans for local events, and tips about what to order at that new cafe down the street.
With lockdown easing, why not bring your neighbourhood together by organising a socially distanced street party. Connect your neighbours with the app and make sure you check out Street Party for tips from contacting your local council to planning activities.
5. Connect with locals and help your sustainable eating habits – With a staggering 6.7 million tonnes of food wasted per year in the UK, small actions can lead to big change. Do your part by downloading Olio, the mobile app for food-sharing. It connects the local community with surplus food to those who either need or wish to consumer it. As well as connecting local businesses giving away food at the end of the day, it can also be used for giving away that extra loaf of bread you might have going spare. A great way of connecting local businesses as well as meeting your neighbours at the same time.