It can happen – it is already happening!
Many streets are already starting a Street Association.
A small core group (maybe 6-8 people) meets over a coffee maybe four or five times a year to come up with ideas and then makes things happen.
How does it start?
Getting started is easy
Simple: put a letter around inviting residents who want to see more community spirit to come together for an evening (in someone’s house, in a pub, hall, or under a gazebo on a green). Discuss the idea. If people are keen, ask for volunteers to join a core group and take it forward from there, together. It just takes someone to take the initiative.
We have a free Street Association starter pack, which gives you all the help you need
That sends you an email, which carries links to relevant downloads, such as a suggested letter to neighbours, a video you and your neighbours can watch together, window stickers, ideas for events. To get it, click our FREE Street Association starter pack »
Taking the plunge and being the catalyst on your street is one way in which you can make a real difference to many lives. It’s a wonderful thing to do. Why not give it a go?
What kind of response can I expect?
That really depends on the street. On some streets, there’s an immediate and highly positive response.
Lots come to the first meeting and others say they can’t make it but do want to be involved. There are plenty of volunteers to start a core group and it ‘flies’!
On other streets, there’s more of an ingrained instinct to keep oneself to oneself and so it takes more persistence. On those streets, it’s important to value a small beginning. If you have a nice evening with, say, six people, that’s actually a really positive result. Over time, the circle will grow. The key then will be personal contact with other residents, getting to know them and inviting them personally to give it a go. Building trust takes time. And remember that many people are busy and overstretched and not turning up to an event doesn’t mean a lack of support.
Persistence is always a key. Some events fly, some disappoint. Keeping one’s eye on the prize – building real community on your street – makes it all worthwhile and, over time, the cumulative effect (as we keep hearing) is big and important – and could last for decades.
Often it takes one or two people who are prepared to ‘drive’ it. Might you be one of those people?
More detailed advice about how to get interest on different kinds of streets in our FREE Street Association starter pack »
How big an area should I try to cover?
‘Small is beautiful’. With, say, 50-100 houses, you can create real community spirit, where everyone knows each other.
Go much bigger and it’s unlikely to ‘gel’. On the other hand, go much smaller and it’s difficult to get enough people together to make an event ‘fly’.
So you could take a whole street (the Victor Road street association), or part of a street (Victor Road south); or a street and a close together (Victor Street and Frobisher Close); having a defined area, expressed in a clear name like that, is very helpful.
More advice on this in our FREE Street Association starter pack »