Running any of these events will help develop cohesion in your local community. We’ve graded each event to show:
- the level of difficulty (easy/medium/hard)
- the potential cost (£0 - £££)
- whether it is a face-to-face event or online event, or could be either
Host a Big Lunch or street party
(hard / £ - £££ / in person)
Connecting neighbours is what Neighbourhood Watch does best, One way of celebrating and sharing with your neighbours is by holding a street party. If you need some advice on how to start, have a look at our handy guide, How to Organise a Street Party.
This year, the Eden Project invites you to host a Big Jubilee Lunch as part of the official celebrations for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee! A once-in-a-lifetime event, this unique Big Lunch is set to be a cracker. Whether it's sharing a cuppa with a neighbour on the doorstep or a bigger bash in the street, join millions of people across the UK to share friendship, food, and fun. Sign up for your free pack to help you get started.
Did you know…? The month of June is the Month of Community. It’s a time to come together to celebrate everything that makes our communities great. It's an opportunity to bring our neighbourhoods closer, give back, and shine a light on the amazing communities we live in. There's a big splash at the beginning of June with The Big Lunch (and Big Jubilee Lunch), Neighbourhood Watch Week and Volunteers Week. But the fun continues throughout the Month of Community. We get together to share friendship, have fun and support a variety of charities and causes. Last year, over 15 million people participated in the first-ever Month of Community. So don't miss out – join in this June!
Organise a family fun day
(hard / £££ / in person)
Family fun days are a great way to bring people together. Think about what you might organise - what would your local community enjoy and who can help you out? You could even organise a fete. Recruit a couple of neighbours to run a tombola, tabletop sale and lucky dip. Or you could host a sports day or a sports tournament for your friends and family. Bring along a picnic and make a day of it. Hosting a fun-packed day for the kids brings lots of options, from face painting to hiring a bouncy castle. If you are fundraising, simply charge a small donation. The Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity has a great guide on how to hold a charity fun day.
Host a fundraising quiz
(medium / £ / either)
In our year of celebration, it’s the perfect time to organise a fundraising quiz. They are sociable and fun with a touch of friendly competition. Funds could go towards your local Neighbourhood Watch group or another local charity in need. The British Heart Foundation has some great tips on how to organise a quiz night.
Did you know…? We have a fundraising page to support our groups to raise funds locally.
Do a random act of kindness
(easy / £0 / either)
It is never too late to bring kindness to your neighbours' doors. And there’s no better way than by doing something unexpected. From designing a card for a neighbour, to keeping an eye on their house or taking their bins in - no act is too small. Small acts, when multiplied, can create a community of care and compassion.
Get inspired with more ideas from the Random Actions of Kindness Foundation.
Organise a themed community event
(hard / £££ / in person)
Themed community events are a great way of uniting neighbours and building community cohesion. There are so many options to choose from: Halloween parties, bonfire parties, firework events, Easter egg hunts, Diwali celebrations, Christmas parties, scarecrow festivals, fancy dress parties, or live entertainment.
You’ll have a lot to think about:
- setting clear objectives
- sorting out your budget
- getting the message out
- arranging the logistics
- assessing the risks
But we’re here to help. We’re developing a guide called How to Run a Community Event (available from April) to walk you through all these things.
Host a 'Neighbourhood Watch Natter'
(medium / £ / either)
A 'Neighbourhood Watch Natter' is a great starting point for engaging your community. It can help you find out what your neighbours think is good or bad about your area. A Neighbourhood Watch Natter is a friendly way of running a 'listening campaign'. It doesn't have to be a formal meeting. It can just be tea and cake in the garden – or whatever works best for you.
Did you know…? We have a Welsh version of How to Run A Listening Campaign Guide: Sut I Gynnal Ymgyrch Wrando.
Get your group online
(medium / £0 / online)
No two Neighbourhood Watch schemes are the same. Nor do they communicate among themselves in the same way. Some groups hold regular face-to-face meetings. Others talk almost entirely by email, and some use social media platforms.
No way is right or wrong. It depends entirely on what suits your scheme members. But if you haven't ever considered using social media, it could be worth exploring. To get started, look at our social media guidelines for Neighbourhood Watch groups and our how-to guides for Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.
Run a Neighbourhood Watch 40th bake-off
(medium / £ - ££ / in person)
Who can resist an excuse for cakes and desserts? A bake-off or cake baking competition can be a great way to involve lots of different people in one event. Running friendly competitions is a fun way of uniting communities.
Your bake-off theme could be to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee, or to celebrate 40 years of Neighbourhood Watch. Whatever theme you choose, remember to email us photos! Have a look at wikiHow for advice and tips on how to hold a bake-off.
If a bake-off doesn't appeal, consider other competitions. These could include dog shows, pumpkin carving, Halloween decorations, scarecrow making, Advent window decorating, or Christmas card designing. These competitions are great for connecting the community. But they’re also brilliant platforms for raising awareness about issues such as dog theft or burglaries.
Did you know…? So many Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators are running events! Why not connect with them on our Knowledge Hub to get advice on the event you want to run?
Nominate a neighbour for Neighbour of the Year Award
(easy / £0 / online)
Do you know a neighbour who goes out of their way to support others? Every year Neighbourhood Watch and Co-op Insurance run Neighbour of the Year Awards. Why not nominate someone for this truly special award? Read about the 2021 winners and their remarkable stories:
Visit ourwatch.org.uk/noty at the end of summer to nominate your neighbour for Neighbour of the Year Award 2022!
Did you know…? Our Neighbour of the Year Award 2021 received over 800 nominations and over 800 pieces of press coverage!
Use the power of posters
(easy / £ / either)
Do you want to raise awareness of a specific crime in your area? Display crime prevention posters:
- in your home windows
- on poles (with permission)
- in community areas, such as doctor's offices, libraries or shops
If you’re sticking signs to poles, remember to laminate them to keep them waterproof.
Did you know…? If you want to engage others, you could work with local schools to encourage children to design posters. You could even create posters as collaborative artwork amongst neighbours