While there is no one sized fits all approach to inclusion, there are some things we can think about to help make our neighbourhoods stronger sources of welcome and belonging. To support you with your inclusion journey we have developed the “Inclusion starts with me” guide; an A3 poster that you can print out to put up in your office, center or home to help you build more inclusive neighbourhoods for the future
Do you want to be helpful and more connected to your neighbourhood and the people in it? Great!
But what’s the next step?
Most of us would have some experience with a situation like this: you see a person on your street or in your neighbourhood and something tells you they could do with some help. Maybe they seem lonely, maybe their garden needs some attention, or perhaps their letterbox is stuffed with letters because they’ve been away from home for a while, possibly even in hospital.
You want to help but there are things that are stopping you. For one, you don’t really know how to approach your neighbour or what to say to them. You also don’t want to look like you’re a sticky beak.
Your intentions are good, but you need a little help with what to do next.
So it’s time to bust some myths about what it takes to be a good neighbour.
Firstly, it’s completely normal to be unsure when you’re introducing yourself to a new person! But don’t let that stop you. The gesture of taking notice of your neighbour will be remembered far longer than the words you spoke.
Secondly, noticing someone may need help doesn’t mean you’re a sticky beak! It means you’re kind and conscientious and that you think about the people you share your neighbourhood with.
Now that we’ve busted those myths, here are some tips about what you can do to start an Inclusive Neighbourhood:
It doesn’t take something like COVID-19 for people to feel lonely. Even in a world where communication with vast amounts of people is literally at our fingertips, people are reporting feeling lonelier than ever.
What COVID-19 has shown us is that people want to help their neighbours. People want to be kind and they want to feel like they are part of a community.
If you feel like you could benefit from stronger relationships with your neighbours then these tips could help you break the ice: