Making the most of your local community


For many home buyers, choosing a home might be about ticking off certain features: a particular number of bedrooms, a large family kitchen, a decent-sized garden and off-road parking, for example.

But evidence suggests that a sense of community is rising up the home buyer’s wish list, as potential residents seek out the opportunity to be part of something bigger and assess the lifestyle that they could potentially enjoy. Research has also shown that feeling part of a community can have a positive effect on mental health and wellbeing.

If you’d like to bring the people on your street together more, here are some ideas of things you could do…

Arrange a street party

Street parties aren’t just for royal events. The Active Wellbeing Society’s Active Streets campaign helps bring communities together, providing a helping hand to organise road closures and create safe spaces for neighbours to come together and host their own street party, whether to celebrate a specific event or just as an annual summertime gathering.

Create shared amenities

A book swap box (sealed against the elements of course) or a community herb planter on your front wall, or introducing a community noticeboard all serve a valuable function in the community, bringing people together and encouraging more sustainable practices such as sharing, reusing and local sourcing.

Go online

Platforms such as WhatsApp and NextDoor are helping communities in the real world to stay in touch online. One in four households is apparently now on NextDoor, while the pandemic led to a rapid increase in neighbourhood WhatsApp groups.

Organise a window display

Organising a window display can be a great way to encourage communities to be creative. Pick a theme and a week and encourage neighbours to decorate their front windows to reflect the chosen topic. Halloween and Christmas are obvious choices but displays to reflect current events or the changing seasons work equally well.