The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer and after a week of digging out jumpers and intense discussion the decision has been made to turn the heating on.

Winter is coming, snow has began to fall, but it’s still just a little bit too early to mention the ‘C’ word…until next week of course!

You’d be forgiven for thinking that autumn is a time for community groups to wind down after a busy summer, but that’s not the case.

Great work and examples of neighbours coming together continue and for some even increase.

Halloween, which was last month is one of the biggest days in a community’s calendar with people of all ages getting into the spirit (excuse the pun) making costumes, organising parties and trick or treating.

In fact, the simple activity of trick or treating involves one of the most important aspects of community life, leaving the house and knocking on a neighbour’s door to say hello. Kids love it because talking and making new connections is a natural thing for most people to do and thankfully Halloween offers us the excuse and incentive to get up and meet our neighbours.

The other big event this time of year is Bonfire Night, which took place earlier this month, with lots of communities coming together to arrange parties and firework shows.

Imagine how sad it would be if Bonfire Night merely consisted of lighting a little fire in your back garden and not sharing it with anyone, not to mention the fact that it’s a health and safety nightmare. Again the great thing isn’t the fires themselves or the fireworks but the fact that whole communities come out together to share the spectacle and help create a local story.

Next month will be Christmas, which will again bring communities together with carol singing, Christmas parties, appearances from old St Nick himself and other general festivities. Christmas is a time for giving and a time for sharing.

It would seem that these dark, gloomy days aren’t so gloomy after all. There’s a real sense of community spirit this time of year and we hope to see it continue throughout 2016 too.

As a supporter of Forever Manchester your money helps us to support activities that bring local people together to make where they live a fun and vibrant place to live. ‘