Council chairman wants to bring communities together this Christmas

With restrictions and social distancing continuing into the Christmas season, North Kesteven District Council chairman, Coun Susannah Barker-Milan is calling on residents to reach out safely beyond their doorsteps to spread a little festive joy.
Chairman of NKDC, Coun Susannah Barker-Milan. EMN-201215-154415001Chairman of NKDC, Coun Susannah Barker-Milan. EMN-201215-154415001
Chairman of NKDC, Coun Susannah Barker-Milan. EMN-201215-154415001

She is hoping to inspire ‘12 days of kindness’ where we express joy, love and hope among our neighbours, unite our communities and bring a smile to passers-by in a safe and Covid-secure way.

Whether big and bold or subtle and simple, here are some ideas to choose from to add a bit of sparkle and a sprinkling of sincere Christmas spirit from now through to January 6 which is the end of the traditional 12 Days of Christmas.

The initiative is being promoted on the council’s social media accounts using the hashtag #NKcheer, with an encouragement to consider giving to her chosen charity - EDAN Lincs - to support families impacted by domestic violence at

NKDC's 12 Days of Christmas kindness suggestions. EMN-201215-154744001NKDC's 12 Days of Christmas kindness suggestions. EMN-201215-154744001
NKDC's 12 Days of Christmas kindness suggestions. EMN-201215-154744001

 1: Trim a tree – in your front garden or street, maybe with sparkly or environmentally sustainable decorations – but please do remove them afterwards to avoid littering.

 2: Look out for others – pop a message in a card through a neighbour’s door, maybe a card drawn or crafted by a child.

 3: Let’s get quiz-ical – organise a remote pub quiz or bake-off challenge through social media.

 4: Check-in with a cake – bake or buy biscuits or cake as a homely gift.

 5: Community Swap shop – organise a safe exchange of excess or unwanted items that others may find useful, making reuse of useful items rather than throwing them away.

 6: Festive focal-point – decorate a phone box or community focal-point; carefully removing the decorations afterwards.

 7: Seasonal scarecrows – set up a street trail of Santas, snowmen, angels, Nativity characters, reindeers, etc . You could even get a community ‘celebrity’ to judge them in a safe way, maybe the vicar, doctor, council chairman or your

district councillor.

 8: Sing-a-long – conduct some virtual village carolling or a festive Facebook sing-a-long. Carol singing outdoors can be carried out so long as it’s Covid secure. (See the guidelines).

 9: Food for thought – leave a Christmas food parcel or a bag of home-grown veg.

 10: A Blessing Bag – gift warm gloves, socks and useful things like toiletries, hand sanitiser and face coverings to someone in need or homeless.

 11: Dress to impress – have a community themed day, with everyone dressing like Santa Claus, in red, the Three Kings or pantomime characters, etc.

 12: Christmas Eve jingle – co-ordinate a community jingle of bells or doorstep music for 6pm on Dec 24 – a bit like the Clap for Carers. Or do something similar for New Year’s Eve such as a chorus of Auld Lang Syne.

So, how do you think you will spread some sparkle to your street and unite your community in isolation, while looking out for the lonely, vulnerable and most in need?

Inspired by the council chairman, how can you share some love, hope and joy in your neighbourhood this Christmas: with a heartfelt gesture, a sing-song, doorstep delivery or a dressing-up day?

We saw from NK Community Champion Award winner Tracey Richardson how effective lifting spirits in lockdown was through similar actions on the Osbournby community Facebook group

“With the Tier 3 considerations further restricting our ability to meet up in person, I am mindful that the run-up to Christmas will be really hard for many people and I would like us all to think of creative ways we can ease our communities though, by initiating a little smile, some cheer or an expression of love,” said Coun Barker-Milan.

“If we look back to the power of the collective Clap for Carers and the power of the rainbows posted up in windows and chalked onto paths; it’s that kind of thing I’d like to inspire. Just something to raise Christmas spirit and reach out to those around us who might be lonely, isolated or feeling low.

“We’ve all had such a rubbish year, so let’s together bring some hope and spread some joy – if not in person then through Facebook or some other virtual community network. We can use it as a way to say thank you for those who’ve supported us through the pandemic and show complete strangers that we care.”

Tell us what you get up to and together we can spread some Christmas cheer, some festive spirit and a real sense of hope.