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Many of us can live in an area for years without ever getting to know our next door neighbours properly, let alone being involved with the wider community.

We claim we want to feel part of the community but don't know where to start.

Getting involved

Talk to local people. Seek out community groups and projects and offer your help. Making it clear you’re happy to get involved in activities which benefit the whole community.

If you want to expand your social circle locally, think about what you like doing – then find others in your immediate area who enjoy doing the same thing.

If you’re a keen gardener get involved in the 'It’s Your Neighbourhood' campaign to make local environments cleaner and greener. If vegetables are your thing, find out if there are any allotments nearby.

Many communities arrange regular litter picks – if you’re not able to help with the actual clean-up, offer to bake cakes for the volunteers. You might prefer to get involved in fund-raising for your local church, school or hospice.

Show a commitment to everything that’s going on around you. Support the local shops, go along to the village school fete and get involved with Neighbourhood Watch initiatives and the Online Watch Link (OWL). If you have religious beliefs, attend local services.

Town and commmunity councils

There are over 700 town and community councils in Wales, all committed to improving the quality of life for local people. Contact yours to see how to get involved. And if there’s not a community council in your area, you might even consider setting one up.

Volunteering

If you have time on your hands, think about volunteering. The Royal Voluntary Service has more than 35,000 volunteers who help support older people to live independently at home.

If you’re an animal lover, you might consider becoming a volunteer with the Cinnamon Trust, a charity which helps pet owners to care for their animals when they are ill, need hospital care or go into residential care.

Being an active member of your community is not difficult if you’re prepared to take the first step and are willing to get involved with local people and community projects.

Last updated: 02/06/2016