We've all been feeling a little more distant from each other this year. Facing ongoing social restrictions, how can we truly connect with each other, make new friendships and learn from each others' differences?
What is the neighbourhood project?
We want to connect people in our community, but we don’t want to do it online. We are going to introduce you to a writing partner, or pen pal. We'll try and make it someone who you might never have met otherwise in your normal social sphere.
All you need is the ability to write a letter once every few weeks (or more!) and the willingness to connect with, and learn from, someone new. It doesn’t have to be just words, you could also share poems, photos, drawings or paintings – what you send is up to you.
Letter writing is a physical, sensory activity. It’s relaxing, meditative, and it beats staring at a screen! Even the Guardian agree. It might be a slightly slower way of communicating than we’re used to. But, that’s a good thing – we all need to practise a bit of patience now and again!
How do I join in?
All you need to do is complete this Google form: wavecafe.org/projectsignup
We’ll match you up with a writing partner, and send you a letter explaining how the project works. The rest is up to you! As a rough guide, we'll be suggesting that people try and write back within a week of receving a letter from their writing partner.
Who can take part?
This project is open to anyone! You might be local to Wave Café's neighbourhood (North London), but it’s not a requirement, and we'd love to have particpants from further afield in the UK too. Anyone of any age and ability can take part. If you are under 18, or require support with writing, you will need a trusted adult or carer to help you with signing up and taking part.
Why Wave Cafe?
Wave Café has always been about bringing together different members of our local neighbourhoods and communities. Showing those with and without learning disability, or other differences, that being together and valuing each other equally creates a truly inclusive society that benefits everyone, not just those who are seen as ‘needing support’.
We can’t do this in person right now, for obvious reasons. So, we want to see if we can kick-start something special in our wider community – bringing different people together and building lasting, sustainable connections that will send a ripple of inclusion and acceptance though our neighbourhoods.
When the time comes that we are able to open our cafe again, we hope that some of the people who have met through this project might be able to come together and meet in person too!
If you have any questions or comments please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear from you.