Charles sitting and smiling at the camera.

‘East Meets West’ in the same street

For the residents of Melbourne Roads East and West in Tredworth, Gloucester, the two streets could be miles apart.

But that all changed when Barnwood Welcomer Hannah dropped in on a resident to follow up on a grant she received. Talking over coffee, the resident mentioned she’d like to know her neighbours better.

Hannah introduced her to a Community Builder, Philip, and through him to Charles, the Pastor of the church on her street. Together, the resident and Charles decided to hold a party in the church for the congregation and residents alike. A date was set; banners were created; and residents, supported by the Community Builders, went house to house issuing invitations.

““There were lots of positive comments after the event, which we hope will lead to more community involvement and welcoming many more ideas to improve the area.” “
Charles Campbell

Residents thought the event a great success. The church was set up with chairs in a large circle to encourage conversation. The vibe in the room was fantastic. People from all walks of life came. Charles led a group-wide conversation. There were games and a wonderful spread. Many new connections were made and some residents who rarely left their houses felt able to share their experiences. One person who uses a wheelchair, lives alone and almost never goes out, shared her stories of growing up in a worn-torn country, captivating even the youngest party-goers.

A number of ideas came out of the gathering and they’ve sparked further conversations. There are plans to start a mums and babies group and talk of setting up a local newsletter. Perhaps the clearest sign of the success of the event was that it was repeated all over again in a summer BBQ. Using the same equipment from the original event, which residents had bought through a Barnwood Small Sparks grant, another resident organised the summer gathering. So, from this one simple idea sprang a lasting sense of connection on Melbourne Roads East and West.

To learn more about community building, visit our Growing Communities pages or visit our Make A Start page for some ideas & inspiration!