Being a good neighbour

Over the last few months our homes have become the place where we work, exercise, learn and socialise. With more of us at home and spending time in the garden, we’re likely to be hearing more of each other.

Over the last few months our homes have become the place where we work, exercise, learn and socialise. With more of us at home and spending time in the garden, we’re likely to be hearing more of each other.

Now more than ever, it’s important to think about your neighbours as you go about your daily life. We also need to be a bit more tolerant and understand that there’s likely to be more noise at the moment.

Here are a few reminders on how to be a considerate neighbour:

  • Do noisy garden tasks such as mowing in the middle of the day
  • If you have a family gathering in the garden, keep music levels to a minimum and switch it off at a reasonable time in the evening (when young children are likely to be going to bed)
  • Dogs bark and whine more if they’re not content so make sure your dog is well exercised and fed, and if you go out, leave a radio on for company
  • Watching more TV or listening to more music? Try not to put speakers on or close to party walls, ceilings or floors and keep the volume to a minimum
  • If a child’s toy or game is very noisy, try and find quieter alternatives, especially if they’re playing outside.

Working in partnership to support communities

bpha works with a number of organisations in the community to deliver services to residents. Although social distancing measures have stopped us meeting our partners face to face, thanks to digital technology we’ve been able to continue our partnership working. And thanks to the strong relationships we’ve built over the years, we’re linking up with a number of organisations to give support to communities during these difficult times.

During lockdown, our Community Development and Housing teams have linked with Bedford Borough Council to form ‘The Covid 19 Partnership Support Group’. Our Community Engagement Manager has chaired the monthly meetings with representatives from a whole host of organisations including Bedford Borough Council, Public Health, Bedfordshire Police, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue, Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity, Faces charity and other housing associations.

Re-connecting with residents

Meetings have focused on working together to deal with safeguarding issues, looking at solutions to address unwelcome behaviour, and supporting each other with our exit plans from lockdown. The sharing of information and support received has been great as we aim to re-connect with communities in new and creative ways.

bpha has also set up a working partnership involving key stakeholders in Bedford to focus on high-rise living in the town. The partnership aims to engage with residents living in our tower blocks and look at their financial wellbeing, any housing management issues they might have and how we can improve our communication with them.