The Month of Community is a new way of combining the many causes and awareness weeks in June, to make one month-long campaign that celebrates many people in our society who might otherwise be overlooked – for example, carers, refugees, and people facing loneliness.
You’ll recognise many of the awareness weeks and events taking place during the month, including Volunteers’ Week, Carers Week, Small Charity Week and Refugee Week, and this is a chance to amplify them all.
Whether you’re involved in marketing and communications, fundraising or community work, you can get involved in the Month of Community and give your own cause a boost. Use the hashtag #MonthOfCommunity (capitalise each word for accessibility) in your social media posts, and get ready to create some amazing content promoting your volunteers, staff, service users and neighbourhood.
1-7 June: Volunteers’ Week
You should know all about this one already, but if you’re new to the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector, Volunteers’ Week will soon become a permanent fixture in your calendar. It’s an unmissable opportunity to shout about the difference volunteers make to your cause and to your service users, and it’s a chance to attract potential new volunteers as well.
We’re planning some exciting local activities with Bristol City Council, Can Do Bristol and Black South West Network, and we’ll reveal details soon. In the meantime, please download the logos and resources from the official Volunteers’ Week website to get you started. Don’t forget that we also cover volunteer management as part of our training and learning programme, and we can provide bespoke training just for your organisation.
5 June: The Big Lunch Weekend
This is a collaboration between Eden Project Charities and The National Lottery. The Big Lunch is about getting together with your neighbours, your volunteers and unpaid carers, or anyone else you want to spend time with locally, all whilst raising money for local causes.
You might host a socially distanced street party, an afternoon tea, a brunch morning, or something a bit different. Although the focus is on a weekend this year, you can hold your event at any time during the month – it still counts. Order your free Big Lunch pack here.
5-11 June: Neighbourhood Watch Week
The pandemic has made us all more community-minded, and neighbourhoods have come together like never before. Neighbourhood Watch Week wants to continue this behaviour, to make sure our streets stay safe, and we are vigilant – not just about crime, but about our neighbours’ wellbeing, and issues like litter, accessibility and road safety.
The website has a huge amount of resources, including a podcast, downloadable guides, and a crime prevention webinar. There’s even advice on setting up a Calling Tree, to spread information to people who don’t use social media. Any face-to-face activities you organise must be COVID-safe.
7-13 June: Carers Week
Unpaid carers are invaluable but often overlooked in society. They spend hours every day looking after loved ones, often with little respite or thanks, and whilst juggling their own day-to-day responsibilities, such as work, parenting or education.
This year’s theme is ‘Make Caring Visible and Valued’. There are plenty of activity suggestions and ways to pledge your support as an organisation or an individual. Many Voscur members are involved in caring, such as Bristol Black Carers, and Carers Support Centre Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
14-18 June: Loneliness Awareness Week
Bristol’s own Marmalade Trust is behind this national awareness campaign. Loneliness can affect people of all ages and backgrounds, and it has an impact on health outcomes as well as mood. The week-long campaign is a chance to start a conversation about loneliness, and to consider those in your community who may feel physically or emotionally isolated.
Use the hashtag #LetsTalkLoneliness to get people talking online; you can also download a range of resources from the Marmalade Trust website, including graphics, email signatures and posters.
14-19 June: Small Charity Week
Many Voscur members are small charities, or established groups and CICs thinking about becoming charities. This is a chance to celebrate the unsung heroes of the charity world, rather than the usual household names up and down the country.
Each day of Small Charity Week has a different theme, including policy (led by NCVO) and fundraising. There will be competitions, online events, and webinars to take part in. Look out for the hashtag #ILoveSmallCharities on Monday 14 June, and #SmallCharityWeek throughout the programme.
14-20 June: Refugee Week
This year’s theme for Refugee Week is ‘We Cannot Walk Alone’ – very poignant after a turbulent year for everyone, but particularly for those who are fleeing war or persecution in their own countries, and who want to make a new start in the UK. There are eight ‘Simple Acts’ you can do to mark Refugee Week, using the hashtags #SimpleActs and #RefugeeWeek2021, or you can hold an event.
Here in Bristol, we have a network of organisations supporting refugees and asylum seekers, helped by Voscur – it’s called Bristol Refugee and Asylum Seeker Partnership (BRASP). These organisations are doing important work all year round, but they make an even bigger impact together.
18-20 June: The Great Get Together
This annual event was set up after the murder of MP Jo Cox, as a way of remembering her community spirit and inspiring others to follow her message of unity: “We have far more in common than that which divides us”.
Spread the #MoreInCommon message by holding a face-to-face or virtual event, organising a school assembly, or joining an existing event in your area. On 20 June, you are encouraged to do the Great Walk Together and also show solidarity with Refugee Week.
4 July: Thank You Day
This new national event is a chance to thank everyone for their support during the COVID-19 pandemic – the NHS and other key workers, but also volunteers, friends and neighbours who have kept us going in a stressful and frightening time.
Use the hashtag #ThankYouDay on social media to celebrate your heroes of the pandemic. Download official graphics, and maybe send out a newsletter to raise awareness.