Landscapes of helping: kindliness in neighbourhoods and communities

The Gathering 2018

Year of publication
JRF (Meg Allen, Helen Spandler, Yvonne Prendergast and Lynn Froggett)

The giving and receiving of informal acts of help, or kindliness, is taken for granted in many communities. However this is an area which is little researched or understood. This paper finds that: As well as the social and physical environment, we also need to understand conflicting emotions and messages about help and support, and the complex ways in which people negotiate these. Individualism, self-reliance and ideals of independence can impact on people?s ability to ask for or accept help from others. Public spaces, the development of community facilities as ?hubs of helping?, and creating more ?palatable? ways of presenting help all impacted on people?s willingness to accept help. In Hebden Bridge the energy of incomers, drawing on new ideas and technologies, worked alongside older forms of neighbourhood-based community solidarity, and this provided a fertile ground for the development of new networks.

Read online