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It’s not so easy these days to get to know our community. The way our lives are structured, it’s difficult to juggle work, family commitments and community involvement – not to mention time for ourselves. Some of us don’t even know our next-door neighbour.
While some people are wary of becoming too involved with neighbours, getting to know them a little is beneficial to both of you. There is a reassurance in knowing there is someone there you can trust and can call on if needed.
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There are lots of ways we can make connections in our community. Here are a few ideas:
- Take a morning or evening stroll around your local streets and say hi to those you meet (take the dog – a great little conversation starter.)
- Check whether your neighbourhood has playgrounds, dog parks or any place where you can meet up with other locals.
- If you have children, encourage them to invite schoolmates over for play-dates – a good excuse to meet their parents.
- If you are a church-goer, attend the service and stay afterwards for a cup of tea.
- If you see new people moving into the neighbourhood stop by and welcome them. Take them a cake or basket of fruit and put together a list of essential information. Don’t linger too long though unless invited. Moving in is stressful enough. Make a date to catch up with them when they’re all settled in.
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- Attend local functions – plays, sporting matches, fetes and fairs.
- Research the history of your area. The local library will be able to help you there.
- Check out local cafes, hotels or restaurants. When you find a good one, recommend it to others.
- Check out and engage with the websites or Facebook pages of local businesses or organisations.
- Read local newspapers and newsletters. You may even have something to contribute to them.
- Volunteer – If you don’t have time during the week you could offer some time on weekends or occasionally for special events. There is no better way to feel connected to your community than by giving your time to a good cause.