How does it work?

How it works, step by step:

  1. Set up a WhatsApp group (or tailor this to the popular networking platform in your area), with the Subject being the name of the street you live on. Smaller groups tend to work better, so, depending on the density of your neighbourhood, perhaps a maximum of 50-100 households. So if you have a long street then separate it into sub-groups and set the Subject to eg, Friendly Street: Houses 1-60.

  2. Copy and paste the following into the Group Description:

    Hi neighbours! This is a group to connect you with your neighbours on your road, to offer each other support (drop food/ meds, walk dogs, be there on phone to those alone, etc) especially when it gets to self isolating.

    Please add neighbours you know. Help us distribute the flyer to add more neighbours. Share your photo and house number and get to know each other! We started ours in Bristol, UK and now thriving groups are springing up everywhere. Have fun!


    For more info go to startwiththestreet.org


  3. Now add your neighbours! Caution: there is potential for the idea to be misused and abused, so add people that you know in person, who live on your road and whom you trust. In WhatsApp, click on your street name at the top to access Group Info, scroll down to Invite to Group via Link. Send the link with the following message:

    Hello neighbour! We have set up a ‘Street Group’ for the people on our street to connect and support each other – something that we all need right now, but hopefully our group will grow, strengthen and last long after this current situation is over. Click on the link to be added to our group. We look forward to welcoming you!

  4. Make the people you add an admin, so that they can add their neighbours too: in Group Info, click on the person’s name and select ‘make group admin’.

  5. To get more participants, and to locate the elderly and vulnerable on your road who are not online, download and print the generic flyer below, fill in the name of your street and organise who on your group will distribute the flyers to the houses on your street. If you have a large street you may want to split the task and be responsible for a certain set of households. Fill in your name, house number, and if you are willing, your phone number and then deliver the flyers and wait for messages and return slips.

  6. Once you’ve got lots of people on the group, then it’s time to share a photo of you and the people in your home and your house number and start encouraging your neighbours to do the same. From our experience of groups we have already set up, this is where the magic starts to happen and people start chatting and laughing – so don’t be shy! 

  7. The idea is not just about support during Covid Chaos, but to get to know each other as neighbours on our streets, hopefully to build a stronger community than just for the purpose of this current situation! Connecting people to take care of the elderly and vulnerable on our road, share and swap items, services and ideas, help each other with childcare, dog walking, etc, etc… The possibilities and potential benefits are vast.

  8. Don’t feel you have to stick rigidly to these steps – it’s just a guide… Take the idea and make it and the group your own – tailor it to the needs of you and your neighbours.

  9. Now the group on your street is up and thriving, why not create a group for another street in your community that you have a friend on? Message them and tell them and tell them about your group and why you are enjoying it, suggest they set their own up and point them to this website. Or do the hard graft for them and create their group with their street name and description, add them as an admin and encourage them to add their neighbours and distribute the flyer. Smile when they thank you and tell you how much they are loving their group!

  10. Don’t forget to check startwiththestreet.org on a regular basis. The site has started basic and small, but we have plans to develop and expand it, with the goal of making it a central resource for all sorts of information, ideas, inspiration, connection and feedback, particularly and initially to help you through the current challenging situation.