Covid-19 saw an outpouring of community-led support in which 9 million ‘volunteers’, or 15% of the UK’s population, stepped forward to help out. 70% of those who stepped up plan to continue doing the same amount or more once the pandemic is over.
What are the stories behind these statistics? What factors have shaped their desire and ability to contribute and care? What’s needed to support and encourage them to carry on caring? Our Active Neighbours Field Guide explores these questions and presents five Active Neighbour groups.
Ministers call this a ‘volunteer army’ but few would describe themselves and volunteers and they are certainly not an army ready to be redeployed – there is no structure, no formality, no rules. Most weren’t mobilised by an organisation. They are willing citizens making an individual commitment. This is change in a different currency: organic, relational, much more “Me Too” than “Neighbourhood Watch”. We must nurture an ecology that enables it to survive and thrive without owning and constraining it.
Introducing our Active Neighbours
The Practical Tasker
The busy doers new to volunteering who thrive on getting tasks done
The Neighbourly Empathizer
The sociable companions who have found meaning in new neighbourhood connections
The Community Weaver
The connectors and organisers building platforms for others to get involved
The Visionary Disruptor
The big picture thinkers agitating for a new way of doing things
The Everyday Carer
The old hands who provide unwavering care to someone close to them
Find out more
Take a dive into the needs, preferences and experiences of our Active Neighbours
What kind of Active Neighbour are you?
In celebration of Neighbour Day in Australia, the team over at Be Somone for Someone have put together a fun quiz for you to find out what type of Active Neighbour you are.
Take a look and let us know how you get on @Rships_Project!
Explore the stories
The Active Neighbours Field Guide draws on the experiences of volunteers up and down the country. You can explore their stories in full below.
We’re very grateful to everyone who has shared their story with us as part of this work. To protect their privacy, all names and identifying information have been changed.