How to start a Neighbourly Network
A network of households in your street, willing to check in and offer support to each other.
This is something you need to take leadership to organise locally. You know your neighbours, your neighbourhoods and your needs the best. We can give you resources on how to do so, but we can’t organise it for you. It needs to come grass roots up.
Please take the Neighbourhood Areas as starting point to connect with others nearby.
Please read the following guidelines from Queercare. They offer best practice guidelines on how to support those who may be at risk in your community. wiki.queercare.network/Policy_for_doing_support_work_in_the_covid_19_pandemic.
Make contact with your neighbours. Please do not ask people to open their doors to you as this increases the risk of possible transmission. We suggest printing out one of the notes in the next section and posting it through doors.
Please wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and warm water before leaving your home to do so and on immediately on your return after delivering notes.
You may have existing networks like an email list, Next Door, or WhatsApp. Consider who may not be on those resources. Can you reach out to include them?
You may want to set up a WhatsApp Street Group to communicate. Please keep in mind not everyone may have a smart phone or be familiar with WhatsApp.
Collect contact information for your group. We recommend phone numbers as well as other forms of contact like email. Please consider many people at risk are not online or do not have mobile phones.
Organise this information. You may want to have an online version of this in a Google spreadsheet, but also create paper hardcopies that can be shared through letter boxes. Large easy to read print will be helpful to be inclusive for those who may be visually impaired.
Identify any key needs in your group.
For example, if you are at risk, which can include the over 60s, those with a history of heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, those who are immune system compromised or other pre-existing conditions, those who require prescription medication, have young children, you may want to share this information with your group, so they can support you and take appropriate precautions.
The above list is just a suggestion. You may have other needs you may wish to highlight to your network.
If there are people with key needs in your neighbourhood, particularly those who are over 60, we would encourage you to make sure there are at least two emergency contact people they can reach out if they are in need, with phone numbers.
If there is a household with a confirmed case and are self isolating, or self isolating due to risk, do they need any support?
E.g. groceries deliveries, dog walking, prescriptions picked up, emotional support like a daily scheduled friendly phone chat etc.
When your Neighbour Network is established, please share this in the Facebook Group under your local area. You can connect with other Networks local to you who can share and may need support.
From here, you can set up your own Ward Facebook Group Page to coordinate with each other.
From there, you can create a Village Network, with volunteers. You know your area best. You can get an idea of which areas are connected, where there may be gaps and people in need of additional support.
We are reaching out to Stroud District Council, local councillors and organisations and hope we can connect groups who form below with additional support in their area.