Neighbours in the Hilton Street by Street group got together recently for their annual litter clean-up and afternoon tea with some great outcomes for the participants and the environment.
The group of nine adults, seven kids and two dogs dispersed across the neighbourhood and in just over half an hour, eleven bags of rubbish, two mattresses and a shopping trolley were picked up from the streets and lane ways. Then it was time to enjoy a delicious afternoon tea together on this sunny Sunday afternoon.
During the afternoon, a number of the participants agreed to be part of a video for a new Street by Street Project promotional clip and shared their thoughts on belonging to our neighbourhood group and the benefits of being involved. The video is still in the making so we will keep you posted when it’s ready to view.
Some of the comments so far suggest the group has been a positive experience for many…
“We get to trust each other more when we get to know each other …” Mia 10 years old
” Coming from England and not knowing anyone, we were invited to participate in the group and we really enjoyed getting to know our neighbours. Now everyone says hello and it’s lovely!” Steff
If you want to try this type of gathering in your neighbourhood, see How to run a community litter clean up and give it a go!
Approximately 30 neighbours gathered at a riverside park in East Fremantle, on a sunny Spring Saturday morning, for no other reason than to say hello and get to know one another a little better.
The Town of East Fremantle supported the event, printing the flyers which were distributed by Street by Street volunteers into letterboxes 3 weeks prior to the date. (Contingency was made in case of rain, with an alternate date if “Wet’, which was prudent as the initial Saturday saw freezing temperatures and rain so was postponed!) A banner was also made which was used to promote the gathering and to be displayed at the Park on the day. The Mayor of East Fremantle Mr Jim O’Neill attended the gathering with warmth and friendliness- neighbours enjoyed the chance to meet the Mayor but there was no “politics” being aired.
Neighbours were invited to bring some morning tea along (no nuts), and for around 3 hours a lovely time was had by all, with new friendships being made, connections established about activities going on in the neighbourhood e.g. Dragon boating, and enthusiasm for when the next Street by Street will be held- Summer.
I love the feeling of being connected to my neighbours and local community and the wanted to build stronger links with more of the people around where I live. For the last 11 years my neighbour and I have held a street Christmas party and invited neighbours to come along and share food and a few drinks. We have it on the lawn under a tree at the factory grounds across the road(with permission!) and It’s always been fun, a great sense of community and people leave saying… we should do more of this!
Finally, the Street by Street Project has provided an opportunity to do just that by providing a framework and ideas to build our group on.
Around July 2014 I started by asking a few people I knew to join a street litter cleanup and they invited others they knew. We had about 4 families come long , did a 45 minute cleanup and had a shred morning tea afterwards and we all enjoyed the morning. I canvassed the group about starting a SxS group and with good feedback and encouragement arranged another letter drop to the 160 houses around where we live (there is a distinct area bound by a few main roads).
People responded, someone offered their home, we bought food to share and I led the discussion about how we wanted to connect more with each other. We made a list, decided we wanted to share skills and talents too and arranged our first event-a progressive dinner! I used Doodle Poll to canvass the group for best dates, people offered their homes and courses and the event was a great success. Good food, a lovely Perth night to walk the streets, we checked out gardens, has drinks on balconies and had a great time.
We have another cleanup planned next week and have decided to meet monthly to chat over a cuppa and action the plans we made originally and think of new ideas too. We have communicated by email and I think once we start meeting regularly, then organising activities and events will be shared amongst the group.
If you are considering starting a group or want to chat , you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy connecting !