Show neighbours you care

November 27 2015

HAVE a get together with your neighbours this Christmas.

HAVE a get together with your neighbours this Christmas.

This is the message from charity Streets Alive, which is encouraging small acts of neighbourliness between Bishopston and Redland residents - no matter what age they may be. 

The ‘Age Friendly Streets’ campaign was established in Bristol to reduce isolation and loneliness, particularly among older residents.   

Gaby Solly, Neighbours’ Supporter for Age Friendly Streets, said: “Having a festive get together out on the street, under a gazebo, or in someone’s house is easy.

“No need to close your road, no big meetings, just a chance to get to know the people on your doorstep better, and an opportunity to share around the warmth of the season.

“Often neighbours gather in the winter as a follow up to a summer street party, and it’s a great way to consolidate the new friendships made earlier in the year.

“But even if you haven’t had a street party (yet), winter street-meets are a brilliant opportunity to start making the connections needed, to get more happening, where you live.”

Gaby says that many streets in Bishopston already celebrate with mince pies and mulled wine. Others sing carols or toast the Winter Solstice together.

Several roads are also planning a brunch or tea on New Year’s Day, with many streets still carrying on the age-old tradition of bashing saucepans outside front doors and greeting neighbours at midnight.

Gaby suggested: “Why not have a quick chat to a few of the people you know on your road to get a sense of their interest?

“If there’s a positive response, post a simple invitation through everyone’s doors and, if there are things neighbours can help with, ask them.”

Jacky, a Bishopston resident, said: “Our street-carolling is now a fixed highlight in my Christmas diary.

“We leave the mulled wine warming in a slow cooker while we gather under a street lamp to have a bit of a sing together.

“We stop outside the houses where people live who might find it a bit harder to get out, because of their health or family commitments.

“I don’t get to see my neighbours so much in the winter, and it’s really nice to catch up with people by doing this.”

For advice and ideas on how to make things happen where you live this Christmas, visit: www.agefriendlystreets.org or email: gaby@streetsalive.org. For more information about Streets Alive, visit: streetsalive.org.uk.

Age Friendly Streets