These are some notable projects that Streets Alive is currently running.
Energy Sparklers Resource Website to Save Energy
A web based resource has been set up to help keen residents to save energy and carbon in their home with the support of neighbours and other residents.
Energy Sparklers give loads of ideas such as for social get togethers, street meets and DIY parties with neighbours and othere residents in your community. Plus there are practical tips about energy saving.
It is based on experience that by meeting people and supporting eachother residents are more motivated to make changes needed to save energy and carbon in their home.
The site is run by the community based Easton Energy Group in Bristol and is developed using Streets Alive's experience of working in streets.
It is supported by Bristol City Counci's Warm Up Bristol Programme.
Age Friendly Streets Campaign
Age Friendly Streets Campaign - neighbours are key
Streets Alive has found that being friendly with neighbours can reduce isolation and loneliness of all generations in streets.
As a result Streets Alive has developed an Age Friendly Street neighbours’ campaign and is being developed in Bristol in 2014 and 15. This includes the many activities that residents who have held street meets have found that helps residents of all ages to have a low level of contact from time to time – to be friendly but not necessarily friends.
The campaign shows examples of how residents meet, keep in touch and organise informal activities between generations. the campaign builds conversations about how such small neighbourly actions create a friendly street atmosphere and can reduce isolation, especially of older people.
The campaign is being developed in Bristol as part of the Bristol Ageing Better partnership, and because this city shines out as very neighbourly with 7000+ residents holding 100+ street parties each year.
Results of the campaign so far are shown here.
Ask us for help to develop the campaign locally in your area.
Chris Gittins, the Director and founder of Streets Alive said ‘Neighbours are a critical piece of the jigsaw of our social fabric of where we live. With us living less local lives we have to be proactive and can’t rely on bumping into people.’
Streets Alive’s work in streets over 12 years suggests that it is our mobile and diverse lifestyles that are resulting in loneliness of all generations. So we have to find new ways of social living.
The launch of The Silver Line and recent reports by the Campaign to End Loneliness about the high level of loneliness of older people would suggest that this is unique to older people.
But at the same time, the Mental Health Foundation has found that loneliness is worse amongst younger people than older. And research by the Prince's Trust suggests that ‘more than a third of young people in the UK aged 16 to 24 do not feel part of their local community’.
Meeting neighbours has to be the starting point, and this is why our experience of neighbours' street meets can help.
Free Street SwapShop kits
We are offering free SwapShop kits that help residents to exchange things, to help eachother or to team up to take action in their communities after street parties.
The common things include pet support, taking post or watering plants while away. But our system encourages residents to be more ambitious and follow examples such as street DVD 'library', sharing trips to school, setting up play or babysitting circles, or even car sharing.
We are developing the kits with residents in Bristol, London and Devon.
More information is available here http://www.streetparty.org.uk/neighbours/ .
Promoting adult support for play in Bristol Play Day
We are supporting informal play in streets during Play Day on Wed 3rd August in Bristol with the City Council Play Services. The aim is to show how streets can be safely used for kids to play together for a couple of hours right outside their door.
This follows our work over the last 2 years when we supported street parties to see how adults, not just parents, can develop a more positive attitude to play in the safety of the closed street.
On the day we provided a Street Play Kit to encourage play by children and with adults. Afterwards we again carried out house to house surveys to ask adults about their thoughts.
In a total of 11 streets 358 (54%) of 664 households were surveyed after the street parties. The results showed the following positive results:
In response to the question 'Compared to before the street party, how do you feel about children playing in the street at other times?' 39% said they were 'More happy about children's play in the street'.
Also, in response to the question 'Would you now be interested in supporting play in your street or elsewhere in the neighbourhood?' 18% said 'Yes, I would volunteer' and 56% said 'Maybe I would help sometimes'.
This project was in partnership with the council Play Services and funded by the Dept. for Education on the Play Watch theme.
Promoting cycling through street parties
Bristol is the leading National Demonstration City and Streets Alive joined in by supporting 12 street parties to which the Council's cycling advisers attend. Residents had the chance to have a go on a bike, chat about their worries about cycling, get tips on routes to work etc. as well as cycle maintenance.
Afterwards all houses in the streets were visited for face to face conversations about cycling in the city.
The project showed that street parties are a good way of engaging residents in the relaxing atmosphere of their traffic-free street right on their doorsteps. The main results were that in 12 street parties 387 residents (60of % households) were engaged and 71% were non- or occasional cyclists. Activities offered included Dr Bike repairs, bike checks, cycling information and fun races.
The project built on Streets Alives' experience of showing how street parties can be a very effective way of engaging residents on greener travel options.