In its simplest form, a community is a group of people with something in common. This could be family, faith, interests or profession, but today I want to talk to you about how you can make a difference in your local geographical community.
A true community is one that enriches the lives of its members, offers a shared sense of trust, connection, and the members care for one another. Participating in a community bonded by attitudes, values, and goals is an essential ingredient to enjoying a fulfilling life.
Studies have shown that a lack of community has been linked to elevated risk factors for chronic diseases, negative impact on mental health and higher rates of suicide and early death. Ultimately, communities give people a supportive group to help them cope with difficult challenges, band together to solve problems and celebrate life’s lighter moments.
In this day and age, a community is getting harder to find and although the Covid 19 pandemic did bring back a sense of community there is more work to be done to encourage and develop neighbourly societies in the UK today. Today I am going to tell you 3 ways that you can help develop and support your community so that you and the people around you can enjoy the benefits.
Offering your skills, energy and time to local organisations is one of the best ways to support your community. You can find opportunities to volunteer at hospitals, food banks, youth groups, senior homes, or animal shelters. Volunteer work might be driven by a big national nonprofit organisation, the Government or a tiny grass-roots effort that started in your own backyard. In any case, people working together for a shared passion or cause often creates a meaningful community.
Attend or Organise Community Meetings
The beauty of communities is that you can contribute just by participating, showing up can enrich your life and the lives of others, build more resilient organisations and societies while developing a deeper familiarity with that community. If there aren’t any local meetings which you feel passionate about why not start your own? Organise activities or speakers (see this site for the best political speakers), promote your event in local publications, community notice boards or Facebook Groups and start getting to know the people around you.
Adopt a Neighbour
During the Covid pandemic, many elderly and at-risk people had to remain in their homes with little contact from the outside. Around the UK we saw communities rally together to try and help those neighbours who had been impacted the most. Near me, the local tearoom started making and delivering healthy lunches to the elderly, neighbours were called upon to support each other with shopping and other tasks. Why not continue this theme now? You don’t have to go far or orchestrate grand gestures to make an impact on someone’s life. Mowing the lawn, popping to the shops or driving someone to an appointment might not seem a big deal but just showing that you care can make a big difference.
Being part of an engaging community gives us a sense of belonging. It enables us to share personal relatedness and support the perpetual growth of each other, ourselves and our environment. Why not start something today and watch the benefits grow?