Have you signed up to Streetlife? The social network has become known as ‘Facebook for neighbours’. Here’s how the platform is helping Londoners make friends in their community
Finding a sense of community spirit in London can often feel like an impossible task. Neighbours come and go, commuters are rushed (and even worse, unfriendly) and local businesses struggle to survive as they fight for competition with high street brands. Sounds familiar? It turns out, embracing a neighbourly attitude in the capital is easier than many of us think.
Since it launched in 2011, social network Streetlife has encouraged over 100,000 residents across London to come together by providing an online platform for sharing news and discussion. So, how does it work? At the sign up stage, new users are asked to register with their name and postcode before they are ready to join in the conversation with other members who live nearby.
Yet there’s more to this than making new friends. From tips on where to find a good acupuncturists and new theatre groups to missing pet alerts and debates on local politics, there’s an endless supply of local information and advice available. Best of all, the site provides trusted recommendations and gives individuals and organisations a voice in the community.
One of our favourite examples of this features a group of Tooting Streetlifers. They successfully campaigned to save their local pub The Wheatsheaf from being closed and taken over by Tesco. Another involves blood oranges (yes, really).
Lucy, a self-confessed blood orange fanatic, was disappointed by the fruit sold in her local supermarket. This prompted her to ask the Streetlife community if anyone was interested in sharing a crate of oranges from a market further afield. Within a fortnight, a network of locals were coordinating weekly trips to the market and distributing fruit to neighbours. Mythili, who met Lucy through this initiative, said, ‘Streetlife has certainly given an impetus to community interaction. Getting delicious, seasonal produce, sharing it, and meeting wonderful neighbours… a staggering success!’
Many of the case studies also highlight how Streetlife has helped to improve safety and protect the environment for locals. In Wandsworth, volunteers have grouped together to support the Wandle Trust, a charity dedicated to restoring and maintaining the river Wandle, and Foodcycle, a volunteer-run scheme which aims to cut down on food waste and provide a free meal for local people. Another London community exposed a sophisticated locksmith scam in their area by sharing details of the roads that had been targeted on Streetlife.
The stories of how the network has benefited people and their community are inspirational, and some have gone to make national headlines. As Streetlife’s tag line explains, ‘When local communities come together, great things happen.’ If you haven’t already, it could be time to get to know your neighbours.
Find out more at Streetlife.com