Getting Others Involved
Can others help out with your Living Neighbourhood? Maybe they could give you feedback on your ideas, support you in developing an action plan, or roll up their sleeves and really pitch in.
Starting the conversation?
- Talk with friends and other people in your neighbourhood about your concerns and listen to what they say. Be transparent and honest about what your idea might deliver and what it probably won't achieve.
- You could invite neighbours to a BBQ at your home or a meeting in the local hall.
- If you are uncomfortable with the direct approach, write an information sheet and letterbox your street or neighbourhood or invite them to take part in an online blog or forum.
- Contact your local media and ask them to write about your concerns and your ideas. This can increase credibility and generate interest and support.
- Invite others to walk around your neighbourhood with you. Discuss your concerns and ideas as you walk and take notes of any feedback. You might also try and use this exercise to create a neighbourhood map noting areas of interest and highlighting areas to play or get active.
- Community Development team in council are also a good starting point.
What kind of help do you need?
Once you have spoken with your neighbours, think about how you can get them to commit to your idea. For simple projects this may inculude helping to organise an event. For more complex ideas you can think about roles people could play based on their skills and levels of motivation e.g. researching options and outcomes, writing funding grants, surveying the community, getting in touch with council, taking photos and so on.
While the help you need depends on the idea you want to develop, particular skills that could be useful include:
- project coordination,
- writing articles for the media,
- designing leaflets and posters,
- managing budgets,
- organising events and fundraisers,
- website design,
- facilitating local meetings, and
Once people are engaged, you'll be surprised at the skills they can offer.
Get your workplace and school involved
While you may have already considered your travel options, your workplace could also benefit from reduced pressure on car parking and improved access by supporting more sustainable and active travel options. Get your manager to check out the Smarter travel @ work program or contact DIT.TravelSmartSA@sa.gov.au to find out more.
There are a number of great programs that get schools involved in thinking about road safety and active travel.
Way2Go schools are assisted to map students’ school travel and to develop a whole school unique School Travel Plan to improve travel routes to schools, encourage sustainable options, provide bicycle education for Year 4-7 primary school students and explore ways of involving their broader community. Way2Go works with individual schools and provide training, advice and a wide range of resources and teaching materials. Ask your local school to contact Way2Go at email@example.com.
Some general tips on working together
- Groups work well when people have an overall aim that they all agree on, be clear when establishing your group.
- Break this aim down into a list of simple action points so that everyone is clear about what needs to be done, who will do each action, and by when.
- Be clear about the time commitment for each task and make sure people are comfortable with that.
- Let people do what they are passionate about - after all that is why they are engaged! If a person doesn't have all the skills to achieve a task, pair them up with someone who can help them out.
- Always recognise peoples’ efforts, even for the little things.
- Show you are listening by taking notes and including any agreed changes by your next meeting.
- Remember to celebrate the little achievements as well as the big ones. A sense of satisfaction is a great motivator for the next step!