Blenheim Drive Group Friendly Neighbours

Describe your best practice
We have a bring and share pre-Christmas party and a bring and share summer barbecue. Also there is a monthly coffee morning for those at home during the day (i.e mostly elderly, many using mobility aids). We have no hall, so this happens in different people’s living rooms. Numbers for coffee mornings (10am to 11.30) are limited to the number each host can squeeze in (usually 8 to 14). The pre-Christmas party is limited to the few houses with more space. We hope to do curry lunches next year. Children’s activities include Halloween excitements.

What did you do and why?
We do all the above things for better community neighbourliness, getting to know each other better

Duration of the project
Coffee mornings for more isolated people, about four years, Halloween fun about 2 years, Pre Christmas party about six years, barbecoue about twenty years

What worked well?
All seem to work well, and the coffee mornings are exceptionally popular and good for bonding. We don’t involve money. Each host supplies a few biscuits and the tea/coffee ingredients. People incapable of hosting sometimes supply coffee etc to those who can.

How did you overcome any challenges?
Mostly by knowing everyone in our road (roughly 90 households) by knocking on every door when someone arrives, making friends, and knocking again when requesting them to contribute chairs, food, drink etc to the major functions. It is all done by personal contact. I (coordinator) know everyone. Almost everyone takes part in some way

How did you cover any costs?
Purely in kind, no money, just food, drink, goodwill for lending and running equipment, barbecues, furniture, expertise in making leaflets, sending round emails, donation of time and telephone etc, etc

Which main category does this fall into?
Developing Your Watch

Force/ Borough area
Thames Valley

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