Case study: plan a street party
The first meeting
- At that meeting, we collectively worked out the tasks, such as meeting with the local authority to close the road, informing the police, deciding on the food arrangements, organising the music, and letting others know.
- Once we identified the tasks, we divided up the jobs and a few people took responsibility for each part of the event.
- One big decision we took at the meeting was not to include any fundraising as part of this project. This made the organising a lot easier, as it removed any issues around accounting, receipts, and it also meant that nobody was tasked with asking for or collecting money. It also meant that the party would go ahead without having to be dependent on obtaining external funding.
- We also realised that the best approach was to ask people to bring their own food and drink, along with something to share with others. In the end, we agreed that simplicity was best and, of course, as often happens, there was a good mix of food for sharing. There were also other unintended benefits to keeping it simple; it meant that there was room for other people to contribute, which they did. Even on the day of the event, people brought out tables and chairs from their own houses for their neighbours to use.
Want to keep
Trinity College Dublin online course,
Strategies for Successful Ageing
- We overcame our doubts by supporting each other and by considering alternative approaches if the first idea failed. There were always a few of us to remind one another of why we were doing it: to have a bit of fun.
- Working together as neighbours helped to make it feel like an adventure and, like all good adventures, it had its tougher parts to overcome. For example, when it came time to write formal letters to officials, a few people worked together to draft and edit these communications.
The day of the partyOn the day, it was a party that everyone had a part in. Participants ranged from four-year-olds to those in their mid-80s. Children were able to ride their bikes on the road as it was closed off to traffic. People of all ages sat out on deckchairs in the street and spent time together. Neighbours danced in the open air. Even the street’s pets ran about without a care and enjoyed a few stray sausages.And, of course, what about the rain? The possibility of rain – especially in Ireland – is something that might stop anyone from organising an outdoor event. Well, I can confirm that it was showery on the day of our first street party and we took it in our stride. We were all close to home so people ran and got umbrellas, came back out, and stood in the rain, chatting and laughing it off. Some of the food got whisked away until the clouds passed and some things got wet, but this didn’t spoil the enjoyment.Other things cropped up on the day:
- We realised that we didn’t have a recycling station, so we quickly organised for all recycling to be gathered in the boot (trunk) of one person’s car who then brought it all down to the bottle bank/recycling centre on the following morning.
- This is the kind of ‘on the hoof’ issue that groups can deal with on the day as long as they have a sensible yet positive attitude, as well as a group of participants who are willing to work together.
Your contextOnce you have taken part in a successful event, you may find more people willing to be involved in subsequent years. Once an idea is tested and works, people love to be involved. For example, once we threw our party, a number of residents from other streets in our area came to talk to us to find out how we did it, in order to throw their own parties.There are many opportunities to stay engaged with your community. Planning a street party is a wonderful way to meet new neighbours. Such events strengthen ties between neighbours and this lasts much longer than the initial event.
- How do you stay connected to your neighbours?
Strategies for Successful Ageing
Our purpose is to transform access to education.
We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.
We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.