Many people live on their own these days. Most of us live independently. We get up, go to work, come home, eat, watch television, go to bed and do it all over again the next day. We have no idea who our neighbours are. We may recognise the odd person on our street, but our close friends and family are elsewhere.
Others of us stay at home. We get up, we do stuff, if we are able, we venture out for food and entertainment, but we rarely see the neighbours – they are out all day.
But what if …? What if there’s a fire, we become housebound, we fall or catch flu? What if we need to find someone help us locate a local service? What about that person over the road, are they okay? Haven’t seen that person for a while, what’s happened to them?
Sometimes it only takes a minor incident to prompt us to realise our isolation. We may be living life to the full, but what if …? We value our sense of community, but often it’s “out there”.
So what’s to be done? Here are some questions to ponder. Do you have a trusted neighbour who you could contact in an emergency, or even if you only need a bit of friendly advice? Do you have their phone number? Do they have your door key, or could they call a friend or relative if they were concerned about you?
How do you even find that neighbour? Start small. A smile to someone you regularly see on the street may lead to a greeting, discussion about the weather and more. When that delivery is collected from a neighbour’s house, take the opportunity to make yourself known. If you can, go the extra mile, clear the pavements of snow, deliver leaflets in your road. Stop and chat as you go – its not all about the task.
We value community and we are the ones to build it. It all starts with a few people coming together. Lets take the first steps.