Never in a million years did I think we would run out of nappies. Yes, here in Surrey there is a shortage of size 5 nappies. As a mum of twins, this leaves me few options 1) pay a fortune up front for re-usable nappies 2) start potty training 3) put out a plea on social media to family and friends. Needless to say, I went for option 3. And to my surprise was inundated with friends willing to help, text messages telling me where nappies were available, staff scouring the shops at lunchtime to find some – I was overwhelmed by people’s generosity and have told my two children how lucky they are to have nappies… they have no idea at all!
This, together with a whole host of other social media stories about communities helping one another made me think more about how community spirit could be making a comeback. A local resident to us has started a group to help the older generation with their shopping / dog walking / prescription pick up etc, a local independent shop has pulled together ‘emergency packs’ which he is going to give to the elderly… full of loo roll and other essentials. As a business, we agreed to support the local food bank and have been busy gathering all their essential items.
So, in a time where selling property could potentially be a harder sell, do we need to focus more on community spirit? We have always seen the value in working with our clients to deliver a community engagement strategy, especially on sites which are long term. Some of our key suggestions:
- Community blog
- Local school engagement
- Community newsletter
- Stakeholder events
- Breakfast briefings with local businesses
- Charity partnerships
- Social media placemaking
- Clubs, groups and workshops
- Community art wall
- Podcasts, vox pops, social content
Renewed appreciation of community spirit has the potential to change the way we live; change the way we promote new homes and we sell new neighbourhoods. Will buyers in years to come see the ‘community’ value. Will it be a driving factor in the sale of new homes? Who knows? But in the current climate of panic buying, we can only hope that community spirit will lead us through these difficult times… something which, thankfully, you can’t just buy off a shelf!