Humans are social creatures; we know that.
If you look at the research that links happiness and human interaction, there’s a clear correlation between the quality of your relationships and happiness – even the longevity – in your life.
According to psychiatrist Dr. Robert Waldinger, who conducted a study of over 700 men over their lifetimes:
“People who are more socially connected to family, friends, and community are happier, healthier, and live longer than people who are less well connected.”
Not only do good relationships keep us engaged but they protect our brain function and go as far as having an effect on our ability to deal with pain.
In the wake of COVID-19, the dangers of loneliness have been at the forefront of many of our minds, whether living alone or dealing with loved ones who had to self-isolate.
However, on a positive note, the crisis also caused our lives to become hyperlocal, sparking a renewed interest in our immediate areas, local businesses and community in need.
Never have the words of Coretta Scott King been so relevant:
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”
Informal support groups started popping up in local areas to help people in need, and there are now over 2000 groups listed on the mutual aid website established during the pandemic.
Once normality – or a form of it – returns there’s a hope that some of the ties formed with our communities, whether supporting the local butcher or offering help to someone, will remain and deepen.
WHAT MAKES A NEIGHBOURHOOD A COMMUNITY?
Long before the pandemic, the HomeHero team were thinking about how we could expand what we were doing in the home to include people’s immediate environment. On top of setting up a home, how could we bring people closer to their neighbourhoods and neighbors?
Historically, local communities have served to enrich how people feel about the place they call home. The strength of these communities ebb and flow but what COVID-19 has highlighted are new instances of people helping each other out and connecting. We witnessed neighbours dropping off food to the vulnerable, connecting over socially distanced doorstep drinks, and engaging with small talk, where previously we may have shuffled by with a grunt.
This fed into an opportunity we were thinking about for a while: How to make a house a home, and a neighbourhood a community.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR HOMEHERO?
Without giving too much away, a part of what we are working on with our HomeHero product is bringing people closer to their areas by offering a level of curation that we feel is missing for both new movers and established residents.
We’re exploring not only how people settle into a new area, but how they discover the area, and where there may be contact opportunities with neighbours.
CURIOUS TO KNOW MORE?
We would love to share what that might look like with you and get your feedback. If you’re interested in getting a prototype in your hands, make sure you’re on our waitlist and you’ll receive next steps.
Join the list at www.homehero.co.uk
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