Let’s continue to build community
We saw great community spirit emerging during lockdown and we don’t want to lose it. As the fallout of the pandemic hits, we’ll need to continue to work together to strengthen our neighbourhoods.
Together for the Common Good have published a free Guide to help local groups build on the great community spirit that emerged during lockdown.
“Let’s Continue to Build Community” helps local groups consolidate neighbourly relationships. The Guide includes four short sessions that lead to a simple action plan agreed by those involved. The Session Guide is free to download here.
The four sessions can be run online or in person and are designed to bring together people who despite different backgrounds, life experiences and opinions are prepared to collaborate for the good of the neighbourhood. Everyone participating has an equal voice and leadership of the group can be shared, so there’s no need for one person to do it all.
Alison Gelder from T4CG said: “During the crisis, you have probably been connecting with many people and organisations across your community. Why not gather a group to take that energy forward?”
Participants could be neighbours, key workers, faith leaders, community leaders and volunteers, local business owners, representatives of the Local Authority, police, NHS, schools, people who have used the foodbank or other community services. The sessions are suitable for everyone of all faiths and non religious backgrounds.
Jenny Sinclair, director of T4CG said: “We saw great community spirit emerging during lockdown and we don’t want to lose it. As the fallout of the pandemic unfolds, we’ll need to continue to work together to strengthen our neighbourhoods. This is a new resource we are offering to help people at this time – please try it.”
Framed around Common Good principles, the sessions provide an opportunity to encourage open conversation and mutual responsibility, building on goodwill already existing in the community.
For each session, the Guide has a short piece to read in advance, and questions to prompt discussion and action. The sessions are not a series of lectures nor a set of neat and tidy answers, but a framework for constructive conversation and practical action. There are full instructions and tips on preparing for and running the sessions.
Geoff Knott, founder of Word on the Streets said: “As lockdown eases, many people will want a return to the status quo. But the COVID-19 crisis exposed many underlying weaknesses in our society, and as the economic impact hits, life will get tougher for many. That is why pursuing the Common Good is so necessary.”
Download a longer article about Let’s Continue to Build Community, published in the Catholic Times on 7 August 2020.