Colwood’s Good Neighbour program is a resident-led effort to help neighbours connect and support one another, and to build a resilient neighbourhood. This is achieved by encouraging residents to get to know each other, largely through activities organized by you, a Neighbourhood Program leader.
Below is a collection of activity ideas you can do (safely) with your neighbours that will support individual and community well-being. Some activities may require additional approvals.
- Host a “very local” outdoor coffee shop - set out a few small tables and invite neighbours to bring their own chairs and beverages of choice. Arrange seating at a safe distance in a front yard, driveway, boulevard, or green park space, and enjoy each other's company. (Bonus: Bring the sample “Pandemic Plan” (link) handout to gauge people’s interest.)
- Invite a Food Truck to visit - lure your neighbours out of their houses with the sweet smells of tacos, or burgers, or ice cream. Support a local business by inviting a food truck(s) to park on your block for a few hours while you take a break from cooking and enjoy some local delicacies with your neighbours. For more details about planning an event in Colwood click here.
- Host an outdoor movie night - use an outdoor movie screen, hang up a white sheet, or use your garage door as a makeshift movie screen, and invite your neighbours to enjoy a family friendly movie outdoors, with physical distancing. Have people bring their own beach chairs, pillows and blankets, and popcorn!
- Organize a neighbourhood scavenger hunt - choose a theme and enlist your neighbours to hide items in their yards or post images in their windows for kids to find!
- Build a community bulletin board on your block/in your building - create a whiteboard where neighbours can leave notes, organize events, ask questions, offer help, etc. Leave space for a corkboard so people can leave photos or posters for an upcoming event.
- Make your own playground - take advantage of your cul-de-sac or that tree on the boulevard. Get together with neighbours to hang a tire swing or build a sandbox. Don’t forget a bench nearby or some moveable seating for parents to sit while their kids play.
- Invite kids to a bike parade - as a special type of “block party,” schedule a time with parents on your street or in your building for a “bike parade.” Invite the children to decorate their bikes and ride them up and down the street or sidewalk, with neighbours watching and applauding. Click to learn more about Block Parties.
Little Free Library - build a homemade book exchange box on the edge of your property, or the property of a willing neighbour. Provide passerbys with a bench or two to sit on while they browse through books. Little free libraries are great neighbourhood attractions where neighbours can meet, share books, and chat. Get creative with your book box design. Does your Little Free Library reflect the character of your block or neighbourhood? See here for inspiration: www.victoriaplacemaking.ca/little-free-libraries/