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Feeling Justine Longford

When we first moved into our house a couple of years ago, we were shocked by how friendly and welcoming our new neighbours were…

Within the first few weeks, we had met all of our neighbours and further afield. Our immediate neighbour pointed out who lived in what house and gave us his mobile number and said ‘ask me anything, anytime’. Which was great as we certainly took him up on that offer.

Having the dogs was a bit of an ice breaker as other fellow dog walkers started with the polite greetings then a few days later stopping to ask what kind of dogs they were. I suppose having children can generate the same conversation starter.

A friend used her free voucher from a food delivery website and the day after we moved in a box of pre prepared food arrived – which was fantastic.

Another neighbour popped round and showed us a scrap book she had made which showed the history of the estate and it turns out that it was an old school that the famous books, films and illustrations ‘St Trinian’s’ was based on. Royalty attended school here too!

We were invited to the resident involvement group where we meet quarterly in a function room at the local pub, catch up on our lives, discuss housing and have a drink.

Last night we noticed our end neighbour is moving on and we will soon be joined by another newbie. How can I make our new neighbour feel welcomed as well as we were made to feel welcomed? Here are a few ideas:

  • Handpick your favourite take out restaurants. Bundle up the menus and tie a bow around them.

  • Am now an expert in bread making – make a loaf.

  • Make a cake or some biscuits (pop in a box of tea bags too).

  • Sketch out our row of houses and agree with everyone to write who we are and a contact number if they need to ask ‘anything, anytime’.

  • A nice jar of bath salts as I can remember how exhausted I was when moving in

  • A plant cutting in a recycled can. There are lots of great resources for labels that are free on the internet and finish of a present beautifully.

I think that making someone feel welcomed, being kind, appreciating and understanding everyone around us is important. It's all about starting a conversation! This can relate to a new member of the team too.

What about you? What was the nicest thing you did for a new neighbour? Or that a new neighbour did for you?


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