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Filling Dudley's streets with Friendliness

Published: 20th May 2021

As One banner in Dudley

One good thing to come out of the pandemic has been an increased sense of community. Neighbours got to know each other through clapping on their driveways and Facebook groups were set up to help the vulnerable in their communities with food and other deliveries.  In Dudley, churches are being encouraged to join with an initiative to build on that sense of community, aiming to ‘fill their streets with friendliness’ as we come out of lockdown and come together ‘As One’.

The organisers of the ‘As One’, have experience of community campaigns, having run the ‘Permission to Smile’ campaign in Birmingham, which saw banners appear on churches, schools and other organisations throughout the city. This worked well to encourage neighbourliness, but wasn’t felt to be quite so appropriate in our post-Covid world. Instead the As One campaign will encourage people to ‘fill their street with friendliness’. Dudley Council has signed up to be involved and the group is working with churches across the Borough.

The first step of the campaign will be hundreds of two metre banners throughout the Borough, building brand awareness and spreading the positive message. It is then hoped that churches will take the lead in organising memorial services for their local communities, bringing people together to help come to terms with the loss, anxiety and trauma which has affected us all. Further down the line it is also hoped churches will invite their local communities to a ‘back together celebration’ tea party, which might then turn into street associations being set up to develop relationship and ensure there is a good community support network.

As One in Dudley has launched this week and the organisers hope that it will also be taken on in other towns and cities. Discussions are also beginning in Worcester.  

The Bishop of Dudley, Martin Gorick, said: “I’m delighted to support the As One campaign. The people of Dudley have come together in a remarkable way throughout the pandemic, as people helped out neighbours, supported foodbanks, and followed guidelines to save lives and support the NHS. The As-One campaign builds on that spirit of neighbourliness as it encourages us all to ‘fill our streets with friendliness’ in the months and years ahead. Emerging from the pandemic will not be easy, there will be ongoing challenges and struggles and we need to keep looking out for each other as we seek to build a better future.”

Top photo shows the first banner going up in Dudley with Adrian Lowe (Love Dudley), Martin Graham (As One) & Rachel Adkins (Love Dudley)

Page last updated: Thursday 20th May 2021 1:55 PM

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