What?

A Street Gang is made up of mothers that live in a street. In a Street Gang, members provide each other with crucial emotional and practical support, such as sharing school runs, cars, cooking, equipment and looking after each other’s children.

Why?

We all know that it takes a village to raise a child and the street is the new village. But our current way-of-life leaves mothers “coping” on their own, often isolated and tired. Street Gangs bring back the crucial village-based support system for mothers.

How to start or join your Street Gang?

The below instructions are guidelines, but run things exactly the way you want.

The Facebook way

Connecting the Gang

  1. If there is no dot on your street on the map
    and as a back-up, you have searched Facebook for “Your street name then Your suburb Gang”, e.g. Blessington Street St Kilda Gang, and if it doesn’t exist, then:
    • Email me at connect@themothermovement.com.au and tell me your street name and suburb and I will send you details of other mothers from your street who contact me looking to connect.  And/or
    • Set up a Facebook Group for your street.
      • A few notes on Groups
        • Work load: As the person setting up the Group, you will be the administrator, meaning very little effort for you but you will be the controller of the Group, ie you can add people. You can also allocate someone else to be the administrator when they join.
        • Privacy: To start a group, as you have just done, you have to invite someone in it with you and thus make them your Friend. This is what you have just done with me. I will therefore be able to see your profile. Once the Group is established however, others, who don't have to be your Friends, will request and can join the Group. Therefore, they won't be able to see your profile, unless you make them your Friend.

    • If you don’t want to set up a Facebook page for your street, you could search on the map and Facebook for a neighbouring Street Gang and request to join theirs.
      • Once you have received confirmation that you have been added, introduce yourself to the Group with your name, street address and phone number.
    • Once you are in a Group, you will receive an invitation to join the Street Gangs HQ Group, which is the Group that all the different Street Gang Group members belong to and therefore exchange information and ideas. Again, the Group won’t see your personal stuff unless you Friend them, or your profile settings allow it.
    • Like ‘The Mother Movement’ page.
    • 2 options for connecting with mothers in your street:
      • Fast Track: Do a letter drop in your street.
        • In the attached flyer, you need to fill in:
          • Your street name in the first sentence.
          • Your Facebook name in the last sentence.
          • Your details at the bottom.
        • If your street is large, do a letter drop to as many houses as you have the energy for.
        • If your street is small, include neighbouring streets.
      • Slow Track: Wait till other mothers hear about Street Gangs and search for your Street Gang Facebook Group and ask to join. Perhaps when a few have joined the Gang/Group, you can then do a letter drop, as this is the only way to make sure you have captured all mothers.

  2. If there is a dot on your street on the map
    click on it and it will give you details of how to join.
    • If you are requesting to join a Facebook Group, once you have received confirmation that you have been added, introduce yourself to the Group with your name, street address and maybe phone number.
    • Like ‘The Mother Movement’ page.

Meeting the Gang

  1. When there is 2 or more of you in your Facebook Group/Gang, arrange an initial meeting. The meeting can be somewhere public like the park/library or your house.
  2. At the initial meeting, you can either keep things very casual or run through the following:
    • What a Street Gang is: Connecting mothers in the street to provide one another with practical and emotional support.
    • How Street Gangs work, and how each member would like to be involved.
      • Practical Support: Sharing resources
        Make a list of activities that members would be interested in. Use this Gang Code spreadsheet as a guide. You can double click on it to create your own version. Then go through each category and note who is interested in getting involved and how the activity might function.
      • Emotional Support: Mothers Meetings
        Diarise a monthly meeting (eg 1st Thursday of every month), like a book club meeting, with just the mothers (no kids), rotating around people’s houses, to discuss the shared challenges of motherhood. Refer to this Gang Chat discussion guide.

  3. Who will be the Gang Leader, if you think you need one? Most groups work better with someone in charge. The Gang Leader could be the Facebook Group administrator.
  4. Upload the Gang Code spreadsheet onto your Facebook Group.

Staying in contact

Share what is working for you in your Gang and find out what is working for others in their Gang through the Street Gangs HQ Facebook Group.


The non-Facebook way

Connecting the Gang

  1. If there is no dot on your street on the map
    • Email me at connect@themothermovement.com.au and tell me your street name and suburb and I will send you details of other mothers from your street who contact me looking to connect.  And/or
    • Do a letter drop in the street.
      • In the attached flyer you need to fill in:
        • Your street name in the first sentence.
        • Your details at the bottom.
      • If your street is large, just do a letter drop to as many houses as you have the energy for.
      • If your street is small, include neighbouring streets.

  2. If there is a dot on your street on the map
    email me at connect@themothermovement.com.au telling me your street and suburb and I will give you the details of the Gang Starter/Leader.

Meeting the Gang

  1. Arrange an initial meeting once people have got back to you with their details. The meeting can be somewhere public like the park/library or your house.
  2. At the initial meeting, you can either keep things very casual or run through the following:
    • What a Street Gang is: Connecting mothers in the street to provide one another with practical and emotional support.
    • How Street Gangs work, and how each member would like to be involved.
      • Practical Support: Sharing resources
        Make a list of activities that members would be interested in. Use this Gang Code spreadsheet as a guide. You can double click on it to create your own version. Then go through each category and note who is interested in getting involved and how the activity might function.
      • Emotional Support: Mothers Meetings
        Diarise a monthly meeting (eg 1st Thursday of every month), like a book club meeting, with just the mothers (no kids), rotating around people’s houses, to discuss the shared challenges of motherhood. Refer to this Gang Chat discussion guide.
    • Who will be the Gang Leader, if you think you need one? Most groups work better with someone in charge.

  3. Circulate the Gang Code spreadsheet to members. Some members may want to start a Facebook Group (see The Facebook way) to communicate.

Staying in contact


Email me on connect@themothermovement.com.au your Gang Code spreadsheet or include the following details in the email:

  1. The name of your Street Gang, including your suburb.
  2. The number of people in your Street Gang.
  3. The contact details of the Gang Leader/Starter. I will be passing these details onto other mothers who live on your street or a neighbouring street who send me a request to join your Street Gang.
  4. Which streets your Street Gang includes.
  5. Any feedback as to what has or hasn’t worked for your Street Gang.



Should I get involved?

  • It takes about 1 hour to set a Street Gang up, for a life-time of support.
  • A Street Gang is not another thing to do or look after, it supports you.
  • You don’t have to be a natural starter of things to start a Street Gang, you just need to be friendly.
  • If you are worried about trusting your neighbours, our neighbourhoods are as safe as they were in the early 1970s and you will know and be able to act on Gang instinct if someone isn’t right.
  • Sometimes Street Gangs take a while to blossom….be patient.
  • Not everyone in your Street Gang needs to be your best friend, they are there to be a supportive neighbor.
  • The Street Gang doesn’t need to include every mother in the street and multiple different sub-Gangs can exist.
  • There will be more mothers in your street than you think.
  • If you think you already have enough support, it might be that you are not letting your imagination run wild enough….
    • what if you didn’t have to wait to get your child into a child care centre but could arrange something more flexible and affordable with your neighbours?
    • what if you could get that job but not put your child in after-school care because she gets looked after by your neighbours? Local mums in the UK have set up a point system to keep track of who is doing what, to encourage fairness.
    • what if you could take that job that doesn’t give you time off during school holidays because you know that your Street Gang runs a school holiday program for all the kids in the street?
    • what if you could set up a business with one of the Street Gang mums and both have the flexibility you need?
  • Whilst your neighbours might seem busy in their own lives, they will want to be included in a Street Gang, so go and say “Hi”.
  • Street Gangs are great for involving your whole family in the street community. An important part of your child’s development is exploring their neighbourhood. Older people in the street also love being part of a Street Gang.
  • If you are already in a Mothers Group, a Street Gang adds extra support that is right next door to you and from mothers at different stages of their mothering journey, who have time and experience to share.
  • By starting a Street Gang, you will get the satisfaction of connecting mothers who will really benefit from the support, eg those who have moved into the neighbourhood.
  • Within a community, you can draw on each other's strengths rather than trying to cover everything yourself. Some mothers relish playing with children, others would enjoy cooking for the group, for example.

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