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Getting back to our communities

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Getting back to our communities

As we are emerging from the COVID19 restrictions and heading into our new ‘normal’, you may be thinking about re-commencing or considering new approaches to face-to-face engagement with your community.

We need to be mindful that some of our community members may have some hesitation about gathering in groups, venturing away from home or may be in an ‘at risk’ group and trying to minimise contact with others outside their home. This should not stop our plans but give us an opportunity to think outside the square and maybe try a new approach to engaging with our communities.

Meet in the Street may be one solution to consider.

What is Meet in the Street?

Meet in the Street (can also be called street meets, pop-up or drop-in sessions), are informal get-togethers where you can talk with people individually or in a small group.

It can be held near to where people live, such as a local park, on the side of the road or in an open space.

Why hold Meet in the Street?

This type of activity is great for small groups. You can provide localised and specific information. It is convenient for local residents as they do not have to go far, often within walking distance from their homes.

As this activity is great for small groups, it can be used as a re-connection activity from the previous bushfire season, as well as helping minimise community concerns over large group gatherings while emerging from COVID-19 restrictions.

How to hold Meet in the Street

Keep it simple. You can have an effective activity with minimal props. Use a sign or banner to promote your activity in the location it is going to be held. As your messages are localised, you may only need to have one or two different brochures and/or fact sheets available. The local brigade fire truck parked up may draw residents on the day. Meet in the Street is about conversations and connecting with your community rather than large displays on the day.

Keep it short. Cover the basic concepts and issues. Activities of 30-60 minutes duration is suggested. This will depend on the content you wish to cover.

t is an opportunity to be informal and friendly. This activity lends itself to one-on-one conversations and may lead to future activities.

It is also an opportunity to gauge interest in your community for what types of other activities they may be interested in.

What to consider:

  • Have a sign-in sheet – you can collect contact details to use as follow-up for future community activities
  • Follow COVID-19 requirements and meet government regulations
  • Develop content to cover at activity – this may include key messages and talking points, relevant brochure and/or fact sheet and possibly a printed map of area
  • Seek permission for use of space/s if required
  • Consider holding activity at one site or a few sites consecutively on the same day or consecutive days/weekends if the community requires this approach
  • Plan for follow up activities with residents to consider feedback and information collected at Meet in the Street activity.

Sharing your ideas:

If you have more engagement ideas for post COVID-19 restriction activities that you would like to share with other TFS Community Engagement Volunteers, please share them on the TFS Community Engagement Facebook page. If you do not use Facebook, contact your regional TFS Community Development Officer and they can share your idea on your behalf.

More Information:

If you are planning to run a local Meet in the Street activity, and would like some guidance, contact your regional TFS Community Development Officer or call 6166 5544.

Selina Young
Community Development Officer, South

Wednesday, July 29, 2020 to Wednesday, September 30, 2020