Tell Co-op how you would bring your local community together - chance to win a £300 voucher! NOW CLOSED

(219 Posts)
EllieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 22-Aug-17 11:50:38

Making a difference within our local community is something most of us would like do or are already a part of. To coincide with their push for more Member Pioneers Co-op would like to find out what you would do to bring your community together and how the Co-op might help.

Sarah MacKenzie from Co-op says: “At the Co-op, local communities are so important to us. In fact we're currently looking for Co-op Member Pioneers to help bring people together and make a real difference where they live. Member Pioneers are a network of individual members on the ground to make good things happen in communities across the UK. They do this by connecting and mobilising members, colleagues and local causes locally to do what matters most to them - arranging local meetings and events, encouraging volunteering and co-operation in their local community.

If anyone is interested in applying to be a Member Pioneer themselves, they can find out more here. We're always looking for ideas about events and initiatives the Co-op or our Member Pioneers could help with or organise and we'd love to hear what MNers think.”

So if you could do something to help bring your community together, and make it a better place to live and work, what would it be? Would you organise a big event? Set up a weekly coffee morning? Are you a keen fundraiser or a fan of a street party?

Whether you are already involved with your local community or just have some good ideas for things you’d like to do, share your thoughts below and you will be entered into a prize draw to win a £300 voucher of your choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck


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OP’s posts: |
onemorecakeplease Tue 22-Aug-17 17:20:32

We desperately need a decent children's park in our local community.
The one we have is waterlogged and full of broken or dangerous equipment
Dc end up filthy playing there

So we need a new one with seating for adults too!

ineedteanownotlater Tue 22-Aug-17 18:18:15

I would love more of a community feel. Everyone is nice enough but we need something to make us come together. Whether that is a annual get together or somewhere central that can be used all year round I don't know but would love something.

CombineBananaFister Tue 22-Aug-17 19:12:47

We live in an area just outside an historic city that was traditionally a place many people retired to but has since become popular with young families due to an affordable apartment scheme. There are lots of care homes, assisted housing and retirement villages alongside the new blocks and so the area is really going through a bit of a transition. It would be lovely to bridge this generational gap and hold a regular event that gets everyone together, arts and crafts, gardening or allottments or even just afternoon tea. We could enjoy each others company, share skills, do chores and hopefully make friendships. The apartments have no gardens and people have moved away from family to be able to afford their own home so it would be nice to meet other families and create a sense of community, get everyone outside for fresh air too. Having watched and been quite touched by the recent programme where they put a nursery school in a care home, I think it would be mutually beneficial and lovely grin

IndianaMoleWoman Tue 22-Aug-17 20:58:27

I think it's very clear just from reading Mumsnet that people have very different ideas about what level of involvement they want in their local community. I hate other people's "fun" being enforced on me so I really wouldn't like my street to be closed for a party etc.

I also think that people often don't understand the impact that seemingly small things (to them) can have on vulnerable people. I'm thinking of the upcoming celebration of things like Halloween and Bonfire Night. I'd like to see our community agree to get rid of door-to-door trick or treating and personal garden firework displays in favour of larger community events. We have plenty of parks and community centres, it would be great if everyone who wanted to could attend a big community Halloween party/firework display and then people who struggle with door knocking/loud fireworks could have an easier time of it.

I think being part of a community is recognising that everyone doesn't want to be subjected to these events and they can actually cause a lot of distres, but so often "it's only a bit of fun"/"its only once a year" get trotted out at the expense of others.

AWholeLottaRosie Tue 22-Aug-17 21:41:01

I think sometimes it seems there's too many hoops to jump through trying to organise community events, or to get funding for them, that people just don't bother. It's soul-destroying when you do put your blood, sweat and tears into something and then can't drum up enough interest to keep it going on a regular basis. Usually the same people who won't join in are the ones complaining there's nothing to do in their area!

I'd like to see more "clean-up" events. I think as a community it's up to us to help keep areas tidy and have pride in where we live. The Co-op could donate food and drinks to volunteers who clean the local parks, beaches etc, maybe hold such an event with a group picnic afterwards?

buckeejit Tue 22-Aug-17 22:45:19

I'd like something that blends a lot of good things together-community, volunteering, inter generational work, helping vulnerable people & improving areas for nature.

I agree with pp that it's the small things that make a big impact. There are 2 things off the top of my head that I think could help older people in my area. 1. Travel assistance to go to the shops & a bit of company. I'd like a regular community transport to take older people to the shops, preferably with volunteers to meet them there & assist them, walk round with basket/trolley & somewhere for them to sit before or after their shopping for a cuppa & a chat (free tea/coffee would be a bonus).
2. A volunteer scheme to turn those who can't tend to their gardens into wildflower meadows so the grass doesn't need cut every week & they still have something pretty to look at. There are lots of older people round here who are distressed about being unable to tend to their gardens but can't find, afford or unwilling to pay for gardeners.

I think if you are trying to make things better in a community, you need to do something that's sustainable. Big party events are fine but invariably cost a lot of money & organisation & theres nothing lasting at the end of it.


WhosTakingDeHorseToFrance Wed 23-Aug-17 00:42:02

My little community is pretty tight knit and often has village events like street parties or carol services. I think this as some posters mentioned already is not everyones idea of fun. So I'd like the have a village directory for newcomers introducing them to the village with a map and a who's who, useful and a helpful way to welcome new comers..

MoanaofMotunui Wed 23-Aug-17 01:11:48

A sensory garden... there are lots of children and elderly people in our small village. It would be lovely to have some sort of flower-garden-come-sensory-garden to encourage all to work together to maintain. Whether it be regularly tending to the garden, or just popping in to do an odd job or just to enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Lots of beautiful flowers, herbs, possibly some fruits/vegetables, combined with lots of wind chimes, water tables, maybe some form of fairy finding trail etc (and not forgetting plenty of picnic benches!!)... ohh it would be bliss!!

Quietvoiceplease Wed 23-Aug-17 05:44:48

In the past couple of years I have organised (along with another neighbour) a very low-key street-meet on our road. Basically, we set up a table on the pavement with an urn and some tea/coffee and cakes, and invite neighbours to come along with a mug. Just for a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon. They work brilliantly: low effort, and people of all ages turn up. A great chance to meet new neighbours, and chat with people.
Writing this has made me wonder why I haven't organised one for so long. I should!
I love the Co-op, and I love the idea of Co-op community pioneers. I genuinely often wonder why more people don't get more involved with their local communities (*usual caveats accepted): it doesn't have to be hugely time-consuming (it can be as simple as cooking a spare portion of food for a local person a la Casserole Club) and the rewards and sense of wellbeing for everyone are enormous.
Another thing I'd like to do is to extend Olio more widely in the local community: it's an app trying to reduce food waste, by matching up unwanted food with those who can use it. It's great: try it!

foxessocks Wed 23-Aug-17 07:17:39

We have a great charity that comes round and park up on our village green put out tables and chairs, toys for the kids, tea and cake and everyone just comes along for a chat and a cuppa. It's fab! I wish they would do it more often so that's the improvement I'd make - weekly instead of monthly. I've got to know lots of people

hannahbjm Wed 23-Aug-17 07:40:03

I would love to put in a lovely garden for both children and adults alike. Maybe a sensory type, lots of herbs, fruit and veg being grown and then these could be donated to a foodbank afterwards as they never get any fresh vegatables. Maybe added to this could run mini cooking sessions in the village ghall with the fruit and vegetables as well

InMySpareTime Wed 23-Aug-17 08:34:19

I have organised several book-themed family events in my local libraries, where children and families fill the library space with noise, laughter and a great community feel. There are craft activities, trails and quizzes to keep everyone busy while they learn more about their favourite books.
I'd love to do more of these, perhaps a Yellow Brick Road event, but funding is harder and harder to come by these days.

voyager50 Wed 23-Aug-17 08:36:12

I would arrange for locals to do a regular litter-collecting sessions as sadly there are some areas in town that get lots of rubbish thrown.

The Co-op could provide bin bags and refreshments for those taking part.

It would be a good way for neighbours to get to know each other and chat whilst doing something good for the community and even the children can join in.

GhostsToMonsoon Wed 23-Aug-17 09:53:45

I think maybe something that brings generations together would be good. And we need more doctors at the health centre/an expanded health centre. What seems to bring people together around here is complaining about never being able to get a GP appointment and the pressure placed on local services by house-building. A nice new park with clean and always open toilets wouldn't go amiss either or failing that I hope the local church get the funding they want to create a small community venue at our local park.

plantsitter Wed 23-Aug-17 12:15:54

I'm on the kids' school PTA. I'd love to do an event or something that would draw the whole community in - not just the school but the people who live near it and businesses etc that are around. We're in London so people don't always get involved in school fetes etc. Some kind of broader community day would be great.

ClashCityRocker Wed 23-Aug-17 16:46:59

When I was wee, it seemed there would be a street party every summer at least once.

Was a great way to meet the neighbours and as a child if for whatever reason I need help I wouldn't hesitate to approach them (for example, when I was locked out).

It really facilitated a sense of community spirit.

ButterflyOfFreedom Wed 23-Aug-17 17:09:00

I live in a lovely neighbourhood- most people are polite & civil and will talk to you if you see them. However it is sometimes a big 'if' and it would be nice if we could organise an event that would bring us together. Nothing too often or too extravagant but maybe a street party once a year.

ErinSophia Wed 23-Aug-17 19:50:53

I would arrange for myself and others to visit the elderly people in my street and give them some company and invite them round for dinner once a week, I'm in my 20's as are many of my streets residents, the rest of my streets residents are elderly and many of them don't have family who visit them. It would be nice to bring the younger and older generation together.

vickyors Wed 23-Aug-17 20:31:16

We've set up a safe space for our youth in our church. It's funded by the local religious organisations jointly, (Muslim, Christian and a Sikh organisation). And it is basically a space where teens and young people can go from 16-24.
They have film nights, visits from local folk about jobs and how to write CVs, and also opportunities to do music writing or DJing. But I'd like to make an outside space for them to be able to do sport or hang out.
I basically think that our society doesn't provide somewhere young people can go safely. So, we got together across our town, and sorted it. It's not perfect. But it's something..

EnFlique Wed 23-Aug-17 21:04:43

We desperately need something for yiung children to do out if school.
If i could afford to I'd set up a youth group for children aged 5-11 in the area. The kids round here all have an abundance of tech and gadgets but seem to lack the opportunity to use their imaginations.
I frequently have children from up & down the street in my house as mt DD plays with and all i do is give them crafty stuff or pens etc and they have a great time.

Benone Wed 23-Aug-17 22:04:47

I'd like to hold a fun day with activities for all ages - not just a family fun day, which people feel isn't for them if they don't have kids, but maybe a tea dance too.

malisa Wed 23-Aug-17 22:28:22

I think in my area we need taking care of weekends when school are closed and many children are getting bored and usually playing on the road. It would be great to have crafts, games and sport activities easy available for everyone.

scaryclown Wed 23-Aug-17 22:30:27

I would sell them all energy and cock it up by having poor quality telephone staff, as well as backroom cock ups and a culture of getting g rid of your call by saying 'it'll be sorted soon' and then do fuck all.

Eventually the community would unite against their common enemy.

OR a skate park.

scaryclown Wed 23-Aug-17 22:31:26

Seriously though, just tell people what the coop actually is. People don't know!

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