12 ways to love your community this Valentine’s Day (and beyond)

Forget flowers and grand romantic gestures, this Valentines Day why not do something a bit different? From leading a litter choice, to sharing tools with your neighbours, here are some useful ways to support and reveal love for your neighborhood

1. Establish a neighborhood fridge

Community refrigerators are public refrigerators where locals can leave spare, edible food. The concept is to take on food waste and supply food for those who require it– and there are now 250 across the UK, according to the Hubbub Foundation. Mid Surrey Community Fridges began with a fridge in a community centre in 2017. “If we can divert [food waste] and offer it to individuals who need it, its a no brainer,” states Clare Davies, its CEO. To set one up, visit the Hubbub site, speak to regional supermarkets and “get out and ask a load of questions,” Davies recommends.

2. Run a walking club

A strolling club can bring individuals together and get you and your neighbours out in nature, getting some exercise. Evie Muir established Peaks of Colour, a Peak District-based walking club for individuals of colour, last year. “We host one stroll a month and typically about 20-30 individuals join us for each hike,” Muir says. “We wish to be as inclusive as possible, so all the strolls are free, and each walk is targeted in a different way for various needs. We do wheelchair available strolls and longer and much shorter hikes.” Its all run through a Facebook group and Instagram page.

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3. Get included with local radio

Croydon FM is a self-funded initiative that was set up by regional citizens in 2018. “We wanted to offer individuals a voice to feel heard and feel imaginative and reveal themselves,” says Phoebe Herschdorfer, its station manager. The station now has DJs, and hosts from different backgrounds and throughout all ages. “We have full-time mums, as well as an accounting professional who does DJing as a side gig, and even a pilot,” Herschdorfer says.

4. Get on a neighborhood bus

She wanted to produce a neighborhood centre that was a bit different, so she bought a large bus and remodelled it to include a cooking area, as well as a workshop and meeting location. “Rather than having a centre stuck in the middle of town, we desired to do something else,” Cavanna states.

Take over a former phone box, like this one in Devon, which has actually been transformed into a tiny club. Image: BT

5. Take control of an old phone box

A lot of the UKs iconic red phone boxes are now serving their communities in uncommon ways. More than 1,000 have actually been repurposed to defibrillators, which give individuals life-saving electric shocks after a cardiovascular disease. In other places, the red boxes are being used for neighborhood libraries and book exchanges. In Devon, one previous phone box has even been transformed into a small club.

6. Lead a litter pick

There is a growing army of litter pickers cleaning across the UK. “It is clearly great for the environment, but we understand its actually great for us as people too,” Allison Ogden-Newton, president of Keep Britain Tidy, told Positive News. Many state getting included has brought a sense of belonging and community pride, along with new pals, she stated.

7. Show your neighbours

Food waste app Olio released a obtain feature last year, so you can now share daily items like pasta makers and screwdrivers with neighbours. “Most of us have great deals of useful items dotted around the house that we hardly use,” states Olio CEO Tessa Clarke. “You can now make these products offered for your neighbours to borrow for brief periods of time.”

8. Assist at a food bank

Ollie Couillaud is trustee and treasurer at Tooting Community Kitchen, where around 60 volunteers assist cook and serve food for the local community monthly. “We assist numerous people weekly,” he says. “A great deal of guests have actually ended up being buddies and we put a smile on their faces just by spending a little time listening, having a chat and cooking a little bit of food. It does not take much to make a distinction in someones life.”

Consider running or going along to a regional workshop. Image: Eddy Klaus

9. Get along to local workshops

From bird watching to painting, workshops can be useful and enjoyable for everyone. Muir started to run workshops alongside Peaks of Colour. “We collaborate with local facilitators of colour to run workshops such as nature writing, yoga, manifesto building, forest bathing, and sound bathing,” she states. “A lot of members recommend the topics themselves.”

10. Establish a guided workout class

A community exercise club is a good way to get fit, improve your psychological health and fulfill others in the neighborhood. For instance, you might establish a regional running club, mental health swims, or regular bike trips with your neighbours. Here are some concepts to get you believing.

Workout clubs use triple advantages: improved physical fitness, the chance to fulfill others, plus an increase to mental health. Image: Anupam Mahapatra

11. Sign up with a community energy coop

Running local energy production co-operatively is empowering neighborhoods. “People feel a lot more favorable about sustainable energy if its owned by them and they really have a say as to how its done,” states Mark Luntley, non-executive director of the Energy4All family of eco-friendly energy co-ops. Find out more from organisations like Energy4All, Community Energy England and Sharenergy.

12. Chat over crafts and arts

Jackie Wells started to run complimentary strolls, arts and crafts sessions and physical fitness classes in May 2021. “The objective is to reduce seclusion, enhance mental health and get individuals outside,” she states. “We start by going for a walk and then we do things like paint rocks, or make birthday cards, and discuss our weeks.”

Her advice for getting started? “Dont take it personally if loads of individuals do not come straight away,” she says.

Main image: Eugenio Marongiu

Mid Surrey Community Fridges started with a refrigerator in a neighborhood centre in 2017. Many say getting included has brought a sense of belonging and neighborhood pride, as well as new friends, she stated.

Ollie Couillaud is trustee and treasurer at Tooting Community Kitchen, where around 60 volunteers help serve and cook food for the regional community every month. A community workout club is an excellent way to get fit, improve your mental health and fulfill others in the neighborhood. Running local energy production co-operatively is empowering communities.

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