Every year we’re inspired by the energy that Street Feast unleashes across Ireland. Here are some more ideas, that can build on that energy in your street and neighbourhood and help you to stay connected with your neighbours throughout the year.
A starting point to get these ideas going might be your local Residents’ Association or the connections you made when hosting your Street Feast. Some of the ideas below come from the “Everyone Every Day Project“, that has been set up to make neighbours in Barking and Dagenham, UK do practical and useful everyday things together that they enjoy.
One thing we’ve learned from the group in Barking & Dagenham: Find the special skills and resources people in your neighbourhood have, young and old, and make use of them.
1. Free Wee Library
The Free Wee Library Project, inspired by a global movement, started in Ireland in Donegal and you’ve probably seen the book boxes in neighbourhoods all around the country. It’s as simple as installing a small book sharing cabinet in your street and asking people to share and take books.
2. Community Fridge
Install a fridge in the community that is accessible for everyone to share and take surplus food. Access nutritious food, save money and reduce waste. Community Fridges are a tried and tested way of stopping good food ending up in the bin.
The little sister of Community Fridge. Someone in your street keeps chickens in the back garden? The idea of the Coop is that residents supply the chicken with suitable food that otherwise might go to waste and get fresh eggs in exchange.
4. Walking School Bus
Are you living in a community with lots of children where parents try to figure out a way to bring their kids to school safely? The Walking School Bus can be as informal as two families taking turns walking their children to school or as structured as a route with meeting points, a timetable and a regularly rotated schedule of volunteers.
5. Community Sings
Community Sings are fun, informal and friendly singing sessions. Led by a resident, people get together and learn a song from different places around the world.
6. Welcoming Committee
Welcoming Committees know when new people move into the area and help them to feel welcome and settle in quickly. They create a personalised Welcome Pack, introduce people nearby and inform them about projects and events happening in the neighbourhood.
7. Waste Works
A project to explore ways that residents can work together on very local composting and other waste projects. (> See our story of Jim in Mullingar, who started to work on his bigger vision of a self-sustaining community garden, with one small step: a common compost in the community).
8. Pins & Needles
A morning where creative knitters and stitchers come together and learn to knit from experienced knitters or meet fellow crafters for a chat or making session. Set a date bring some wool, yarn and needles and get going.
9. GIY Groups
It doesn’t always need to be the big community garden where people get together to grow food. Just kick off a small GIY group by meeting up with neighbours in a green space in your street and grow something together. You could also level up right away and grow fruit trees together in a communal space.
GIY provide great growing boxes, that are the perfect starting point.
10. Great Cook
After growing comes cooking. The Great Cook is a project where people come together to batch cook meals. Everyone brings ingredients and takes home portions for the week.
We hope there was something in here for you and please share with us, what you are doing since Street Feast to celebrate you neighbourhood in the comments below or by just writing an email to [email protected] As you know, we’re always in search of ideas to connect people in communities.
Also check out this post from Street Feast on how to be more neighbourly, it’s a lovely collection of all the little things that can make you feel at home on your street.