Nextdoor’s fourth annual Good Neighbourhood Awards proved to be bigger and better than any year yet, with a record number of nominations flooding in from all across the UK. We heard stories of whole neighbourhoods coming together to fight loneliness, kick start local projects and support one another through times of need. Over the thousands of nominations, the story from Berry Hill neighbourhood in Gloucestershire shone through, with neighbours going the extra mile to celebrate their local community. Our ambassador Konnie Huq joined Berry Hill neighbours to find out more.
One of the best ways to get neighbours together is by creating local fun events that welcome community members and get people talking. Throughout lockdown, Berry Hill neighbours continued to organise outdoor events to keep everyone’s spirits lifted. At Easter, they ran a tractor rally that neighbours could safely watch from home. They also completely refurbished the Berry Hill Social Club so that post lockdown it could be used as meeting point and event space.
Neighbour Richard said, “They have done everything they can to support people through lockdown from delivering food supplies to organising a scarecrow competition and mapping them all so that people had something to do to encourage them to go out and exercise. In the end, there were over 200 homes with scarecrows, and many had several. It even made the regional news and inspired other communities to do something similar.”
Berry Hill’s local rugby club provided outdoor youth activities that were open to all surrounding neighbourhoods and they raised funds to purchase and install two defibrillators in the community telephone kiosks. The phone booths have been painted blue by the community to show support for NHS workers. Neighbours also use them as mini community hubs, donating any items they wish for others to have such as books or seed packets for Spring flowering.
The local post office hosts a free community library where people donate and borrow books. There is also a community orchard, which was purchased, set up and maintained by local volunteers. Not only has the communiry orchard created a haven for local wildlife but neighbours also love it as a outdoor meeting point for dog walking and enjoying nature.
The orchard provides the community with free locally grown fruit such as apples, pears and plums. The local school uses it as a an educational resource and it was the space of the annual “Wassail”.
Nextdoor’s purpose is to cultivate a kinder world where everyone has a neighbourhood they can rely on. Join your neighbours and build community where you are.