What’s a good way to stay in touch with your neighbours? A Whatsapp group is one way to start. This App runs on smartphones, and shares text and photo messages with everyone in the group., (Many people also use it for communicating with other individuals too.) Lots of street Whatsapp groups have started in the pandemic, and it’s now possible to share some specific learning and ideas about what makes them work well, stay positive and play a useful role in the lives of your neighbours.
My thanks to Sam Moon of Fine City Neighbours, a group set up in Norwich in England’s eastern counties, to help build neighbourly mutual support. They have produced some excellent step-by-step guides for starting and sustaining neighbour Whatsapp groups, and I am delighted that he’s allowing me to share them with you. Click on the links to access the free material.
My own top tips would be that the way you invite people, and the way you help to nudge and moderate the conversation, make a big difference to the way that the group sustains and supports the members, rather than either becoming a nuisance or sliding into disuse. It may well be ok if nothing is said for weeks – as long as when something IS said, people are thinking Aha! rather than OMG…
(Acknowledgements to Sam Moon and Fine City Neighbours once again for creating and sharing this material. If you know about other useful stuff for village-builders that’s out there, please get in touch!)