21st June 2021
Laura is one of the original proposers of Thank You Day! She’s bringing together a small group of her neighbours with a mini street party! Here’s her top tips to help you plan your own thank you this Thank You Day.
Whether you know your neighbours or not, it’s easy to get people involved. After all, it’s a party you’re organising and who doesn’t love a party? I didn’t know any of my neighbours, so I wrote notes and popped them through doors. Within half an hour had a team of people wanting to help organise. There are lots of jobs to do, from arranging music, food and games to litter-picking and decorating on the big day, so everyone can have a job and make a contribution.
Money shouldn’t be a barrier to bringing people together. If you agree that everyone provides their own food and drinks, it’ll mean people can spend what they’re comfortable with in their household. Challenge your neighbours to make decorations from recycled household objects and music can be as simple as putting a playlist through a portable speaker. The important part is the connection, the conversations and the friendship and they are all completely free!
If you want to close your street, you do need to get permission. Regulations vary locally so check out the guide on The Big Lunch website to get started. If closing your road is too difficult, you can always hold your party in a local park or on private land.
You might want to think about public liability insurance just in case anything goes wrong. This isn’t mandatory and talking through some of the potential risks with your neighbours and how to mitigate them might be enough. If you are looking at getting insurance for your party, Eden Communities have a public liability insurance offer available, click here for more information.
If you’re doing this for the first time with your neighbours, you might want to play a game to get things going. Anything a bit silly, that gets you all talking is good! It could be something as simple as lining up from youngest to oldest in one minute or who can draw the best lightning bolt on the pavement in chalk. Playing isn’t just for the youngsters and from my experience, it’s the adults who get most out of it. A street party gives everyone permission to have fun and that’s the best part!
It can be really easy to get carried away because everyone’s having so much fun but remember and be respectful of the wider community. You can always move the party to another location like a garden, pub or park if people want to carry on. But before you do, make sure your bunting is taken down and packed away for next year, and your gazebos, tables and chairs are all packed away. Save left-over food or donate any unopened items to your local food bank. Importantly, bag up all your rubbish. You want this to be a lovely experience for everyone so making sure you look after your surroundings once you’ve finished is all part of the process.