Five free ways to connect with your local community this June
This June, the UK enjoyed two consecutive bank holidays to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Whether or not you’re a royalist, Elizabeth II is the first British monarch to achieve 70 years’ reign and so this will be history in the making and something we’re unlikely to see again in our lifetime. A major focus of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (QPJ) celebrations was to connect people and unite communities. Here are some ways you can connect with your community and make a difference throughout June.
Plant a green legacy
The whole UK is being invited to take part in the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) by planting a tree. Apart from the obvious environmental impact that more trees will make to our planet, spending time in nature has been widely recognised as having a positive effect on our wellbeing – reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and improving mood. These benefits have been identified whether spending time in wooded areas or simply having trees in the street where you live. The QGC is giving away hundreds of thousands of trees to schools and communities this year, so that everyone in the UK has the chance to take part. Find out if you can order a tree by going to queensgreencanopy.org/get-involved/communities-and-groups.
Connect with your community
One of the few positives people took from the COVID-19 lockdowns was the renewed sense of community it forged between neighbours. The Jubilee celebrations offer an incentive to continue that, inviting people to create open and welcoming spaces for their neighbourhoods to gather and engage with one another – like the Big Jubilee Lunches being hosted in streets throughout the UK on Sunday 5 June. Find your nearest lunch at platinumjubilee.gov.uk/events. Local churches often host free events and activities for the local community throughout the year. This June offers the perfect opportunity to contact them to see how they’re engaging with your local neighbourhood.
Celebrate people giving back
June is also Volunteer Week, which recognises the huge impact that individuals make to their communities. This year’s theme is ‘a time to say thanks’ – a moment to show gratitude to those who give their time, energy and service to local charities, organisations and people. Why not join in this June and celebrate the positive impact that volunteers make to your local area?
If you’re looking for a summer activity that isn’t dependent on the unpredictable British weather, Pinterest is exploding with creative ideas on how to make your own Union Jack bunting, royal emblem cupcake decorations or craft corgis out of toilet tubes. Setting up a mini exhibition for the crafters in your neighbourhood to submit their entries to is a great way to get people together and have fun, no matter what their age! Or you could collectively enter one of the QPJ creative challenges as a community, like designing a Jubilee crown, composing a poem or producing a video. Discover more at platinumjubilee.gov.uk/get-involved.
Ask for help
This is a time to connect, relax and have fun with others! Celebrations don’t have to be expensive. If you or someone you know is struggling with finances, Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is on hand to offer practical, emotional and holistic support. Our free services are available to everyone. Visit capuk.org to find out more or call 0800 328 0006 to book a free debt help appointment.
Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a UK charity working with over 800 affiliated churches to deliver debt help, budgeting guidance, support to find work, life skills groups and more. Visit capuk.org to find out more.