SYC’s ‘Research Report into the needs of Youth and Community of Whitley’ (2015) highlighted a presence of cohesiveness among families, friends and generally their immediate neighbours, although others or those seen as different were perceived to be a threat, creating a fragmented wider community. Various projects could be put in place at different levels to respond to these perceptions and related behaviours. As SYC, our mission is to create positive shifts in culture from the grassroots of communities and neighbourhoods.
So naturally the ‘Love Your Street’ campaign found its place in the recommendations of SYC’s research report. The primary aim of this initiative is to intentionally build community in every street by creating healthy relationships, a sense of belonging and trust. The dream is that every street is a place where everyone irrespective of their age, gender, faith background, ethnicity, profession, disability is seen and valued. Where love takes several forms such as offering a listening ear, kind gestures, celebrate each other’s successes and so on.
To make this happen, we need a ‘Street Champion’ for every street; individuals who would commit to pray for people on their streets, initiate conversations to build or sustain relationships and create opportunities for gatherings such as street parties, festivals, themed events, etc. Fast forward to today in the midst of Covid season, the aim of ‘Love Your Street’ campaign holds even more significance as we need to pull together if we are all to make it through this season. It has become vital that we care for each other in our homes and the streets and apartment blocks where we live. We must remain physically distant, whilst reaching out and building community, but it can be done!!
To help this thought become a reality, SYC has created a web page with resources, ideas and stories of Street Champions to inspire and equip anyone who wants to make a difference in their neighbourhood at this time. www.syc.life/loveyourstreet
In addition, we recently organised a webinar where five residents from Reading shared their experiences of connecting with neighbours, the joys and struggles, practical tips to motivate and look after yourself as you reach out to those around you!
We understand that as time passes by it is challenging to keep our own morale high, let alone look after others. And so, we hope this page and the campaign encourages you with new and creative insights on caring for those on your street. This way, we can do our bit to look out for each other and celebrate all the good happening in this time.