1. Smile and say hello to your neighbours in the morning, even when you are in a rush!
2. Child-mind or baby-sit for a family in the area you get to know. It is often a real treat for those with children to get a night or even a whole day off.
3. Help parents with a newborn baby by cooking a meal or offering to look after older children. This will allow them to spend time with the newest member of the family.
4. Invite a neighbour round for coffee and a chat. The impact of simply spending time with another person cannot be underestimated.
5. Offer to go shopping for someone who is elderly or housebound.
6. Teach someone how to use e-mail, facebook or Skype something which many people don’t know how to do. You might be able to help a grandmother keep in touch with her grandchildren.
7. Visit the sick in hospital, especially those who may be long-term patients. They might even welcome someone reading stories from the local newspaper to them.
8. Help an elderly churchgoer by providing lifts to church on Sunday. If he or she can’t be there, offer to get hold of a recording of that week’s sermon.
9. Organise churchgoers to clean up a local eyesore.
10. Do some gardening for neighbours who might not be able to do it themselves. It might not be Groundforce, but mowing lawns, cutting overgrown hedges and taking rubbish to the dump can transform a garden.
11. Do some decorating for someone who doesn’t have the time, money or strength to do it themselves. You don’t have to be too ambitious – a lick of paint can make a big difference.
12. Offer to drive for Meals-on-Wheels and bring some nourishment and friendly company to those that are housebound.
13. Become a mentor for a child or teenager in your neighbourhood. It is a great opportunity to invest time in developing a positive relationship with a young person. Contact an organisation like Oasis Trust or your local YMCA, which run mentoring schemes.
14. Get into youth work and spend some time with young people in your area. Your church or council will probably be able to provide some training to get you started.
15. Offer your professional skills to someone who could not otherwise afford services such as a plumber, electrician, accountant, language teacher, lawyer, administrator etc.
16. Become a school governor and contribute to the life of a local school.
17. Serve on a Youth Offending Panel, which recruits volunteers to work with young people who are in contact with the criminal justice system. You might be able to help them stay out of trouble in the future.
18. Throw a street party for your neighbours this summer. Get everyone to bring different foods, drinks and music and encourage people to get to know each other.