Here’s How to Fit into Your New Neighbourhood
Moving to a new house is stressful and, it’s even more difficult if you’re moving away from familiar territory and into a new area altogether. Setting up home in a strange environment can be daunting, but, there are lots of ways to make it a little easier that will help you make friends with the neighbours!
Take a look at our tips on how to settle into your new community and hopefully, you’ll soon be feeling right at home.
A good old fashioned tried and tested method is to simply chap your neighbours’ doors and say hello. Perhaps take a box of cakes along and introduce yourself over a Krispy Kreme or a French Fancy. Don’t be shy, be polite and smile when they answer – they’re only human and chances are they will be happy to see a new face in the street, or at the very least, nosey enough to open the door. Then you can sit down for a natter and a nice cup of coffee.
Also, if you’re going to be having any work done outside or your removal van is likely to cause any obstruction, now would be the right time to get into their good books. Tell them you’re moving in, apologise in advance for any short-term inconvenience and hopefully, they’ll appreciate the gesture. It’s also a smart way of finding out if you have any elderly neighbours that you can perhaps offer to help with some shopping or errands.
Hobby Groups and Clubs
If you’re a keen amateur photographer, or maybe you’re into knitting or crafting, there’s usually a club for these specialist hobbies in most towns or suburbs. Google what’s on offer in your area for your favourite pastime, you never know, it might be right on your doorstep. Go along and simply join in. Having something in common is an instant ice-breaker so you won’t feel awkward.
If singing’s your thing, check out any local community Glee clubs or vocal groups and there are branches of Rock Choir up and down the country. Or, if you fancy treading the boards, try and source the nearest amateur dramatic society and sign up for their next production. You’ll be unpacked and settled in by showtime!
Parent & Baby/Toddler Group
If you have babies or small kids, one of the first places you will meet new friends is at the local baby/toddler playgroups. There’s nothing like bonding over your little bundles of joy to get a conversation started. When you register with your new doctor, they are bound to have info on all the local community groups available, so just ask. You could also pop into the local library, if there is one, as their noticeboard is likely to be full of info about what’s on.
If you have older kids, they’ll be starting a new school in the area too so there will be plenty of scope for meeting other Mums and Dads as they start to make new friends. You could also join the PTA or whatever parent groups they have set up. Rest assured, you’ll begin to get to know folk at the school gates – just be friendly and say good morning to as many parents as you can. Introduce yourself, say you’re new to the area and, hopefully, you’ll be whisked along to the next coffee morning!
There’s usually a local community Facebook page for your neck of the woods so, the next time you stop for a cup of tea in between unpacking, jump onto some social media and see what’s available for your neighbourhood. It’s a great start.
Places of Worship
These days pretty much most faiths are represented in the towns and cities across the UK, but Google your preference and you’re bound to find what you need for the area you’ve moved to. Without doubt, your local place of worship will welcome you with open arms and you’ll become instantly part of that community. You’ll probably find some of these organisations also have extension support and/or social groups too.
Gym/Dance Classes/ Sports Centres
Gyms* and fitness classes are ideal places for getting to know folk too. Have a nosey around the town and see what’s on offer or again, just Google search what’s on in your area. There’s bound to be a running club or a Zumba class you can go along to and join in the fun – a great way to meet people and, you’ll be keeping fit too. Result.
Okay, so you’re not looking to be the latest curtain twitcher in the street but, there could be a neighbourhood watch scheme in place in your area and they’ll no doubt be happy to welcome new members.
These are just some of the things you can do to help you integrate with your new community. Hopefully, it won’t take long before you’re hanging out with the locals – you’ll soon find your feet on your new stomping ground.
**At the time of publishing, Coronavirus pandemic lockdown restrictions are still in place. Clubs, groups, gyms and places of worship may be on hold for now and, if you’re visiting neighbours, please respect social distancing rules and Government guidelines.**