A Neighbourhood Peacemeal

Sarah Webb shares how she and her husband Alan used Peacemeal to bring their neighbours together as a community.

Recently, I decided to use the Peacemeal idea as a basis for building community on the road where we live. Fairfield Drive is an almost oval cul-de-sac of some 130 houses.

There was already an email group up and running, which had been used primarily to pass on police neighbourhood information and also to build support from residents for a restricted parking scheme on the road.

So, I suggested to the person who runs the email group that I would like to invite anyone who wished, to come to our house for supper, and to talk about how we could do more together as a community.

It was with some trepidation that I mailed all 130 houses inviting everyone in the road to come to our house for supper and discussion. Happily, there were just 12 of us on the evening in question and I made bread and soup for the group on the hottest night of the year!

It was great to meet as a small group and see that there was enthusiasm from others to do more together and build community; it was also great for me that three or four of the group went away and planned a very successful quiz night at a local café / wine bar attended by 70 people.

Since then, Alan and I have tried another Peacemeal idea. We invited a bunch of neighbours round for tea and cake (every bit as good as soup and bread, though not vegan!) followed by Pimm’s and nibbles.

The great thing was that our ‘bottom of the garden’ neighbours brought their neighbours, and people started to meet neighbours they didn’t know and get chatting. Again, there is likely to be a spin off event organised by someone else in the summer.

Someone made the comment to me that I was good at making things happen. I don’t actually feel that way and always want to stay in my comfort zone, but I am learning that I don’t have to do it all myself. Once I do a little to get people together, they do more, and start to bring their strengths and ideas to the table.

Do you want to explore Peacemeal in your community?

Take a look at the Starting a Peacemeal page for ideas. Like Sarah and Alan, you could ‘do a little’ and start something special.


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