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How our communities are coming together

We are hearing of some great projects that are using the power of our communities to support each other

BRaG, a North Kingston residents association, talks about how it is bringing the neighbourhood together, in good times and in bad…

BRaG was formed in 2011 after a group of neighbours got together to put on a street party for the Royal Wedding. Since then, BRaG has been largely focused on fundraising through the organisation of community events and also communicating local news to residents. As we have built a great community spirit since then and have an up-to-date contact list and website already in place, it’s been fairly easy to set up communications for the current situation, and this has been driven by the energy of a few individuals in setting it up.

There has been a tremendous response to our local WhatsApp groups to pull neighbours together and to communicate offers of help and local information. We have virtually all of the houses on our streets on the groups and most elderly and vulnerable neighbours have been identified and contacted. 

There have been many offers of help – from shopping and dog walking to admin and just offering to have a chat. There is a feeling that people are looking out for each other and it’s really heart-warming.

A local resident sent us this comment on Monday

“I just wanted to say how impressed I have been with BRaG’s response to this crisis…… I have contact with my immediate neighbours, [and] wanted you to know that your commitment and contribution to the local community was really appreciated and valued.”

We know that other groups have been set up and from our experience, smaller groups work with administrators who are connected and can share local information. More information about our local groups is on the BRaG website

People are very keen to share their personal information at this time but we would remind people not to post anything online (WhatsApp, Facebook or NextDoor) that they wouldn’t post on a noticeboard in the local shop. Whilst the majority of us are in it for the good of everybody, there are still some who may collect the data for more nefarious purposes.

At this stage we feel somewhat prepared for what is to come and having all of our neighbours connected and looking out for each other puts everyone in a safer environment.

Jo Hawkins
BRaG resident


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