Making New Neighbours Feel Welcome
It’s human nature to be curious about the new people who are moving in. You’ll be sharing your community with these new neighbours potentially for some time to come, so make a great impression on the newcomers by welcoming them to your neighbourhood in style.
Before the New Neighbours Move InIf you know the people who are moving out, it should be easy enough to find a bit out about the people who are buying or moving into their house. This information is vital when it comes to working out how best to welcome them, as an elderly couple will be less receptive to a party invite than a young couple, and if you plan to welcome them with a gift, you will be able to tailor it appropriately.
When they ArriveIt’s important not to be too overbearing when you spot the removal vans and the boxes going in. The new arrivals are likely to be harassed and exhausted, so won’t really take kindly to being watched – unless you’re going to offer your services and help them shift some furniture, which is always likely to make a favourable impression.
There are many ways you could Get To Know Your Neighbours. You could consider being especially friendly and making them up a welcome box or basket of the things they are likely to need on that first day. A welcome gift is a lovely gesture that will be much appreciated by most new neighbours. All you need to do is think carefully about what they’re likely to appreciate most - a bottle of wine (and a corkscrew just in case theirs is boxed up), some nice coffee and biscuits, homemade cakes, all these things tend to go down well. Top it off with a little card welcoming them to the house.
Along with a basket, why not also give the new arrivals a house plant or something for the garden if they have one?
Keeping the New Neighbours InformedOnce you’ve introduced yourself, you could give the new arrivals some useful addresses and phone numbers, a local magazine or guide to the village/town, bus timetables, local take-away menus – all the things that are likely to be really useful in that first few weeks in a new area. You could even make a list that includes doctor and dentist numbers, and the days the bins are collected.
Involving the New People in the CommunityTry to involve your new neighbours in local events and groups, introduce them to other people and generally integrate them to the neighbourhood. In some cases, this might not work as some people prefer to keep themselves to themselves, but you’ll be able to gauge this fairly early on and keep your distance if appropriate.
Invite them to a party, a meal or just for a quick coffee. If there’s a barbecue in the summer, invite them over to enjoy a meal on an informal basis. If they have children, they might be at the same school as your own children, so this can be a great ice-breaker too.
If you’re a member of a local group, whether it’s an adult group, such as a Neighbourhood Watch, or something for the kids like brownies or cubs, invite them along to join in where appropriate. Local fêtes and festivals are a great place to meet the wider community so pop over and ask if they will be going, and invite them to go with you. Eventually they will start to feel more comfortable with you and the rest of the neighbourhood, and they will stop being the ‘newbies’... then it will be their turn to do the same thing for the next new arrivals!