Wouldn’t it be great if the community spirit we saw in the first Lock-down could be recaptured for the long term?
It’s happening! Discover how and please help the As One vision take root where you live!
ST VALENTINES DAY ‘AS ONE’ LAUNCH ‘TO SPREAD THE LOVE’ STREET BY STREET ACROSS BOURNEMOUTH, CHRISTCHURCH AND POOLE
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole organisations including BCP Council, faith groups, schools, businesses and others are joining forces to help local residents living in streets across the borough to renew their sense of belonging, support and friendliness, as widely experienced in the first Lock-down during the pandemic. As part of BCP council area’s ‘As One’ campaign, the message, ‘Fill your street with friendliness’ will start to be displayed from St Valentine’s Day on hundreds of large banners across the borough. From the spring, dozens of local As One events will be put on to help the message take root in each locality.
The idea is to encourage more of a sense of connection, kindness, friendliness and belonging between people who live on the same street and aims to be a huge boost for elderly people, young families, single people, everyone!
Dozens of churches and other faith groups, community centres and other BCP area partners are preparing to host As One Tea Party events, each for their own neighbourhood. There, residents from each local street will be introduced to the idea of starting a Street Association for their own street, with the aim of keeping the friendliness going long after the pandemic has lifted. In many local areas, an As One memorial service will also be held, ahead of the tea party, to remember the anxiety, isolation, loss and bereavement experienced by so many over the last two years and to help bring a measure of peace and ‘closure’, with the tea party then seeking to take the key ‘positive’ of the pandemic –the burst of community spirit – and help it to flourish for the long term.
The two-metre banner, introducing a design which is being picked up in other parts of the UK, focuses its encouragement on ‘your street’, because a Street Association led by local residents has been shown over 10 years to be a popular way of getting people together, organising things like a children’s party, a barbecue, quiz night or trip away, just for one’s own street. With an agenda of ‘friendship, fun, belonging, a helping hand’, the prize is that everyone gradually gets to know everyone, friendliness is released, isolation is addressed, fun is had and practical help flows to residents who may need it. Community events are anticipated to take place from the spring, with the Platinum Jubilee as a key incentive to get neighbourly communication going in time. The strap-line for Street Associations is ‘Love my street’, making a St Valentine’s Day launch most appropriate!
You are encouraged to find out more about starting a Street Association where you live – see Street Associations for more details of how to get it going. Please also help spread the As One vision on social media – see links at the bottom of this page.
As One BCP is part of pioneering https://as-one.uk/, along with Worcestershire, Birmingham and Dudley in the first ‘wave’, with other towns and cities and counties preparing to take part. It draws from Birmingham’s successful 2018-20 ‘Permission to Smile’ campaign.
In these days of fruitful partnerships between churches and civic authorities, I was delighted when the diocesan Aldhelm Fund awarded a grant of £5000 to the As One initiative for the BCP area. As Christians, we obviously give a high priority to loving our neighbours, and an increase in the number of Street Associations can only lead to real friendships and a growing sense of community at street level. The prospect of neighbours, of all faiths and none, becoming friends in the road where they live has the prospect of leading to all sorts of transformative action.The Rt Revd Karen Gorham, Bishop of Sherborne, acting Bishop of Salisbury
I fully support the As One initiative. BCP Council have an ambition to create vibrant communities where everyone plays an active role and feels a sense of pride in where they live and As One really supports that. We have seen a growth of friendships, mutual support, and a sense of community in individual community areas during lockdown and in responding to the pandemic, and As One across the BCP Council area will ensure that we maintain that coming out of COVID restrictions and moving ‘back to normal’. I would encourage every resident across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole to find out more about Street Associations, and, with others in their road, to be involved in this simple way of bringing people together at the most local of levels.Councillor Jane Kelly, Lead Member for Communities, BCP Council
I’m always on the lookout for good ideas of increasing the level of community: we are the tenth biggest urban local authority in England (pop nearly 400,000) and, though there may an economy of scale here, I’m determined this should NOT be at the cost of a growing sense of community and engagement. The As One initiative is a great idea to increase the level of community and friendship at street level, and I look forward to see this happening across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole in 2022 and beyond.Cat McMillan, Head of Community Engagement Environment & Communities, BCP Council
Sincere thanks to all the Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole organisations that have so far actively supported As One in the borough:
- Aldhelm Fund
- Alderney Community centre
- Boscombe Baptist Church
- Boscombe Salvation Army
- Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council
- Bournemouth Town Centre churches
- Branksome Community Centre
- Canford Magna
- Christchurch Baptist
- Christchurch council of churches
- Churches Together in Poole
- Diocese of Salisbury
- God First
- Holy Angels, Lilliput
- Immanuel Church, Southbourne
- J & Bs Plumbing Supplies & Boiler Spares
- Lantern (The)
- Mudeford Wood Community Centre
- Ocean Academy
- Parkstone Baptist Church
- Poole Missional Community
- Richmond Park Baptist Church
- Rosebury Park Baptist
- Spire (The), Poole
- St Aldhelm’s church, Branksome
- St Andrew’s, Boscombe
- St Barnabas Merley
- St George, Oakdale
- St James’ Church, Poole
- St John’s Church, Ashley Rd
- St Joseph’s RC primary school
- St Mark’s, Talbot Village
- St Mary’s RC church, Poole
- St Michael’s, Hamworthy
- St Philips, West Howe
- St Thomas, Ensbury Park
- Slade’s Farm Recreation Ground
- Talbot Village Trust
- Twynham Church,
- Christchurch University Hospitals, Dorset
- Wessex Faithworks