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“Having children has improved the connection with my neighbours”

Harrogate Written by Elizabeth, local resident

I never had much to do with my neighbours before having children as I would only really see them when I was arriving home or leaving the house. We just went about our days without saying more than ‘hello’, but since I’ve had children, I’ve realised how important it can be to have support from neighbours. Having children has improved the connection with my neighbours and forced us to have conversations we probably wouldn’t have had. Over the years my husband and I have definitely worried a bit that our neighbours are disturbed by the children – obviously babies cry at night and toddlers can be pretty boisterous! But since we’ve built a relationship with them, I think our neighbours are more understanding of our situation.

The first time I really spoke properly to our neighbours was when I’d hung some washing out on the line and the wind blew it into their garden. I took my little boy with me to knock on their door and ask for our washing back, and it opened up a conversation between us which has continued over the years. Another time, I went out for a run and when I got home I realised I’d forgotten my key and there was nobody home. It was pouring with rain, but luckily my neighbour spotted me and invited me into his house – it was a really kind gesture.

Little gestures like these make you realise that there are a lot of good people in the community who will help out a stranger. I know my neighbours would help me out and they know I would do the same for them.

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