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Moving to a new area? Get involved with your community

HUMAN BEINGS are social creatures, since the beginning of time humans have sought out one another to share experiences, life lessons and have fun. Moving to a new area brings a multitude of problems, one of which is ingratiating yourself within the local community and making friends.

It can be a daunting experience, but the benefits of being part of the community far outweigh the initial fears of taking the plunge. If you have just moved to a new area and are looking to make friends then this is the perfect article for you.

Read on to find out the five fun and exciting ways that you can make friends and feel like a part of your new local community.

Play Bingo

In the 1960s over fourteen million people regularly played bingo in the United Kingdom, making it one of the biggest community pastimes in the country. Recently, it looked as though bingo was dying, with halls closing on a regular basis up and down the country. However, the rise in online bingo sparked a resurgence, with increasing numbers of people wanting to experience the game for themselves, not just behind a screen. Whilst there aren’t as many people visiting bingo halls now, it is still a major part of community life.

Nearly 5 million people play bingo nowadays meaning there’s a good chance that there will be regular bingo nights in your local area. Although it is essentially gambling, bingo is so much more than that, it is a real social event.

People from the community getting together on a weekly basis to share a few drinks, stories and have fun. Getting involved in a local bingo night will give you the chance to meet a whole host of new people and most importantly have fun.

If you haven’t played bingo before you could even have a practice run by playing a few games online. Once you’re prepared, you can spend last time focusing on your bingo card and more time getting to know the people around you.

Join a sports team

The UK is currently undergoing an obesity epidemic with less and less people exercising, but you can do your bit to reverse that trend by playing sports. Our childhoods were often characterised by long hours spent playing outside, whether that was kicking a ball, playing cricket or simply running around.

Unfortunately as we get older and reach adulthood, trends show that we spend less time outdoors and jettison our sporting ambitions. Just over 50% of adults in the UK participate in sports once a week, a figure that has gone down by almost 15% in the past 10 years.

The health benefits of joining a sports team are obvious, you will get fitter and lose weight if you start regularly playing sports. Research suggest that it is not only your physical health that improves, but your mental health too.

Sport is now used by millions of people as a way to combat depression and anxiety, it can also be used as a way to make friends. Local sports teams play a major part in local community life and can introduce you to all sorts of people.

The shared camaraderie and ethos that you will experience from joining your local sports team will do wonders for your life. There are plenty of ways to find a local sports team to join, you can simply ask around or alternatively use services such as Player Wanted.

This site allows local football teams to advertise vacancies for players, why not log on now and see if you can find a team for you? It’s not just football that’s covered online either, there are similar services for all manner of sports.

Host a mixer Party

In American TV shows you often see newcomers to an area hosting a party in which they invite all of their new neighbours over to their house. This might seem like a great idea in the movies and on TV, but in reality it can often be a little trickier and lead to awkward conversations.
One way to reap the benefits of these get togethers whilst mitigating the chances of awkward encounters is to host a mixer party. Start by inviting your new neighbours and members of your local community, but also inviting your existing friends.

Ask everyone to bring an extra guest with them, by doing this you encourage everyone to mingle at the same time as minimizing awkwardness. It’s a great way to reinforce existing friendships at the same time as fostering new friendships.

It was a technique first used by the dating industry, but it is increasingly being used in workplaces and local communities because of its success. Try it now and see if you can expand your social circle.

Volunteer

One of the best ways to make friends is simply by being a friend, and that’s what you are doing when you volunteer. There are plenty of charities and organisations in the country that are in need of enthusiastic volunteers.

It needn’t just be working in a soup kitchen or helping out at a retirement home, there are plenty of other ways to volunteer and make a difference in your area. Check out the charity Volunteering Matters to see how you could get involved in your local community, make a difference and make friends.

Walk the dog

Canines have less foibles when it comes to introducing themselves and making friends than humans do. We’re not suggesting that you go out and copy your dog’s way of making friends, but you can use your dog to help you.

There are 8.9 million pet dogs in the UK with over 24% of the adult population in the country owning a dog. Look at the streets around you and you will see hordes of people trooping up and down the road with their pet dog in tow.

Getting out at popular times and walking your dog can help you make friends straight away. Your dog will do all the hard work, leading you over and introducing itself to the other dog allowing you to start up a conversation and potentially make a friend.

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