Community is vitally important, as the pandemic showed us!
Our society has been drifting into a ‘keep-yourself-to-yourself’ mentality. It was becoming hard even to say
Thinking of smiling or greeting?
- Would they wonder what I want?
- Or think I’m ‘one of those people’ they can’t get rid of?
- Would I be ‘invading their private space?’
It all seemed too difficult, and so many of us tended to pass others by, head down, no eye contact.
No ‘permission to smile’?
Now, with Coronavirus, there was a wonderful upsurge in community spirit. How to embed that, make it permanent, rather than it just melting away as the crisis passes? Otherwise we’ll see a return to:
- Less neighbourly support for those who need it
- Unmet need of help (e.g. with shopping for elderly people)
- An ever-greater burden on an already-overstretched public sector
- Community spirit draining away as things get back to ‘normal’
- More isolation
- More loneliness
- Less encouragement and belonging
How to reaffirm and embed the new community spirit – and make something of it for the future?
We need to make a change and that requires people power! Here’s how we can all take part:
- Start smiling and greeting again, especially where we live (a smile gives new heart, not a virus!)
- Take opportunities for simple friendliness (while obeying health guidelines)
- Work with neighbours to support elderly people on your street.
- Use those new links to start a Street Association as things get back to normal – details here
- Help us bring our new campaign – ‘As One’ – to life where you are. Please do contact us and find out how we’re gearing up to help local partnerships put on their own campaign!
Permission to Smile song, performed at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall as part of Youth Proms 2019 – delightful!
What we did in Birmingham, plus a personal message from Sir Lenny Henry!
Neighbourhood organizations can also play a vital role as local catalysts – churches, community centres, schoolsMore Information!
Join the friendliness revolution!
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