A neighbourly nudge to lift community spirits

We're encouraging everybody to spread a little neighbourly cheer over the festive months, sharing our five top tips to keep community spirits high this winter.

Our advice comes on the back of Campaign to End Loneliness’ Be More Us initiative, which reports that almost half of UK adults say that their busy lives prevent them from connecting with other people.

Dwn Walters, spokesperson for the Oddfellows, said: “In the run up to, and during, the festive holiday period, we know that many people’s day-to-day lives become even more hectic and distracted. So our friendly, festive nudge is to not forget the importance of maintaining relationships with those living around you.

The high spirits of the season creates lots of opportunity to strike up new conversations.

“The high spirits of the season creates lots of opportunity to strike up new conversations and to spread more neighbourly cheer, but with a serious message of making sure we look out for each other, too.”

With over 200 years’ experience in helping people to form friendships and in offering support to its members, the Oddfellows has the following advice:  

  • Start with a hello. Add a smile and a comment about the weather, and it’s often all you need to break the ice
  • Let them know who you are. Use the festive season as a chance to drop a card through their letterbox. They can then put a name to your face
  • Be thoughtful. Small, helpful gestures can make a huge difference. If you’ve taken in a parcel for a neighbour, drop it off for them when you notice they’re in, or put their bin out if you notice they’ve forgotten
  • Share news of local events. Whether you stick a flyer on a communal noticeboard, or post a notice through their door, share what’s happening in the area with your neighbours. Better still, invite them along to something you’re going to
  • Keep an eye out for vulnerable people. Let them know you’re there for them, especially if the weather’s bad, or you think someone needs some extra help or company

Dawn added: "We have over 124 Branches across the UK, running events throughout the year. Lots of them are relaxed and informal, so a great opportunity to get to know others in your local area. Feel free to invite your neighbours, too!"

Joy with her neighbours Michael and Janet

Find out how Joy discovered the Oddfellows after her neighbours Janet and Michael invited her to join them at a local event. 

If you'd like to give us a try, use our handy Events Finder to search what's happening near you. For more information about joining the Oddfellows, and to receive a free information pack, you can contact us by calling our Membership Team on 0800 028 1810, or email enquiries@oddfellows.co.uk