When the September quake struck I had only been in my house for a few months and had met few of my neighbours. Within a day I met a many more. Suddenly I felt part of the community. It didn’t last though, because many people moved on from our mud-strewn street over the months following the February event. However, I get another chance, because some kind person has organised a street party as part of Neighbourhood Week.
Many of us have had to move in the last couple of years and need ways to get to know our new community, but how do you do it if you are not lucky enough to have a neighbour organising a street party?
My first port of call would be to CINCH. I’m not a church goer, but I had so many of the local churches knock on my door after the earthquakes that I could have held an inter-denominational conference in my living room – so I know that there are many active in my area. A search for church groups in St Albans brings up an impressive list. Likewise I can look for any groups involved in activities I enjoy, such as the St Albans Art Society or Garden Club.
I could also visit my friendly area community centre and have a chat. Fortunately the Council has just given us a temporary facility to replace the one we lost in September 2010.
If you want to plan your own event for Neighbourhood Week, the Council has lots of good ideas on their web page.