CONNECT WITH PEOPLE
Working together and taking action within our local areas to improve things for local people, and protecting our environment, go hand-in-hand. When we come together locally, as part of community groups and clubs, and through volunteering and partnerships, it naturally produces care, awareness and enthusiasm for the people and places around us, and our shared future.
THE JOYS OF VOLUNTEERING
Anyone who’s ever volunteered will tell you it’s hugely fulfilling. There’s lots of evidence that giving back to your community is good for you too, benefitting your health and wellbeing. That’s why many doctors are ‘social prescribing’ and ‘green prescribing’, referring people onto doing something productive with their community and with nature.
Volunteering also looks great on your CV, and can help you to develop new skills, or rediscover old ones you’ve not used for a while.
Volunteering doesn’t have to mean digging a hole or painting a fence. Many charities and groups are looking for volunteers with different skills, ideas and backgrounds to contribute in all sorts of ways. This could mean anything from maintaining social media and writing newsletters, to chairing or taking part in meetings, to watering and tending to plants, to providing training and talks.
Think about what you can offer and how you could spend your time productively to support your community and local area. Browse sites like do-it.org (or google your local area + volunteering), or find out what groups you could join in your area (see below).
DISCOVER YOUR CIVIL SOCIETY NETWORK
Wherever you are, from rural areas to big cities, there will be community groups, projects, clubs and societies you can get involved in, and opportunities to get new things happening. Sometimes community groups and projects can be quite informal and less visible, but scratch under the surface and often there’s a thriving network of activity in even the smallest communities.
Places to find out what there is in your area include:
Noticeboards – check noticeboards in parks, village centres, railway stations, and outside social clubs and town halls for details of ‘friends’ groups, volunteering, meetings and events
Community fairs and events – local markets, fairs and other events will often have stalls and activities run by community groups and clubs, keen to let you know how you can help
Local Facebook groups – many communities have local Facebook groups where people share ideas and issues and local groups promote their activities
Council websites and newsletters – look at your town/village/parish/city council’s website or newsletter to find out what’s happening; many provide lists of local groups
Local newspapers and websites – local papers are a great place to look, or search for your locality online for hyper-local sites