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“It helps create a relationship with your neighbours and you can look out for each other”

Bradford Written by Sonia, local resident

Campaigns like ‘looking out for our neighbours’ are so important – now more than ever.

As a community we are so busy – we rush out of the door in the morning to take our kids to school or get to work, and rush home again, but we’ve lost a sense of connection with our community. There are some people in the community who won’t speak to another person, so we shouldn’t be passing them by without saying hello. A hello, a kind smile could be the only social interaction they have, so make it a nice one. We know people are busy and that technology has taken over our lives – but in my neighbourhood we’ve worked to make that a positive thing.

We’ve got a neighbourhood Whatsapp group and it has made such a difference to us all. Everyone has their phone on them all the time, so it’s easy to send or receive a message. It means we can pick up if someone needs help.

I’d encourage more people to do this – it creates a relationship with your neighbours and you can look out for each other. Older people might not be using the Whatsapp group but a neighbour who notices they haven’t been seen for a few days, or knows they aren’t well can let everyone else know to keep an eye out for them. And because we have a Whatsapp group, we communicate more in public because we have forged a relationship. So a neighbour can ask for help because they know their neighbours in person – they’re not just someone who rushes past the window every morning.

It helps to reinforce the connection. We can bring the community together in a way that works for everyone. I’ve absolutely seen that it works in my community. Creating a Whatsapp group is a very easy way to provide a support network for everyone in society – including those who are vulnerable.

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