Joanne Boal started a community initiative brightening up her local area with a community garden called ‘Rainbow Alley’ off the Cregagh Road in Belfast. She came to the idea during lockdown and got everyone together by hosting workshops on gardening and food growing. The brightly painted alley has been aptly named ‘Rainbow Alley’ reflecting the joy and diversity of the neighbourhood she lives in.
Joanne is a Big Lunch pro, she regularly uses the opportunity to bring neighbours together and this year she was able to host a Platinum Jubilee party in Rainbow Alley. Neighbours enjoyed conversation with each other, homemade food, games and even crown-themed cake!
Over time this shared community space has become filled with fruit trees and vegetables in homemade planters, so it was a perfect location to celebrate all that is great about this diverse and friendly neighbourhood. Joanne is a former ’Neighbour of the Year’ on Nextdoor and is a member of the Eden Project Communities network. Anyone with a passion or interest in making good things happen where they live can join.
A local Nextdoor Lead and nearby neighbour, Paul Smyth, describes Rainbow Alley as “exactly what the city needs right now – a place where people can build community”.
You can host a Big Lunch anytime in June for the Month of Community. Why not start by inviting a few neighbours for tea and just see how easy it can be to start a positive chain reaction in your neighbourhood. Or, set up a group here on Nextdoor and invite neighbours to join you to celebrate your neighbourhood. 💚