“Cheers” is just a nickname for a network of neighbors & friends in the Perth suburb of Banksia Grove. We cheer for anything good that’s already happening in the neighborhood, pray about the bad stuff, and act to help out where we can.
We work “to bless and benefit Banksia Grove and beyond.” We work toward the dream that everyone seems to share: a community that is friendly, safe, caring, and empowered. We simply ask, “what can you do to help make that dream come true?”
Someone said, “Let’s encourage more of the good things that are already happening around here.” Someone else said, “Yeah, we can Cheer for them.” And we grabbed our drinks and said, “Cheers!” That’s where Cheers started.
Search “Cheers-log” for spasmodic progress reports
What is Cheers?
A Neighbours’ Network. Relationships & shared action.
Cheers is part of a non-denominational, para-church organization, called Scripture Union. SU is used by virtually all Christian denominations in WA.
Who is Cheers?
Anyone who participates with us to make Banksia Grove better, is part of the Cheers network. Those who meet to reflect are just more intentional participants. Everyone just volunteers their bit – there are no staff.
What does Cheers do?
Reflection & Action to encourage and develop Banksia Grove into the kind of community we all want to live in (friendly, safe, clean, caring, healthy, connected, respectful, sustainable… you know!)
Who does Cheers collaborate with?
Cheers mainly works on making good friends. The best things are achieved through trust, not programs. So we collaborate with friends, neighbours, acquaintances, and also community groups (eg. BGRA, Round Table, Celebrate Recovery dinner club, Neighbourhood Watch), schools, developers, governments, & businesses.
What sort of actions happen?
Most importantly, trust and friendship happens over time & tables. But other more tangible actions include: Roundtable, BGRA (amenities, groups, safety, economy, education, environment), family camps, sponsorships, playgroups, clean-ups, emergency help, Carols, parenting courses, BG e-list, www.banksiagrove.com, work for justice beyond BG (eg. West Timor, Philippines, Uganda.) What do you have to give to the world?
When does Cheers meet? And what for?
1st and 3rd week – Pray & Plan: reflect on what’s happening, pray, and help if we can.
Weekly – Family Time: learn & encourage each other (all ages contribute).
Occasional – special interest get-togethers: blokes, teens, games, steering…
All meetings are open to anyone, but have different functions.
Contact Cheers for details
Core Beliefs & Practices
The Christian basis of Cheers is pretty simple. Some practices inSpire actions, & some are actions shaped for the circumstances.
Who started Cheers?
Cheers simply evolved around food as local friends and neighbours dreamed together about the kind of community we want to live in. Local Geoff Westlake added some know-how, but it’s formed by the dreams of all.
Is Cheers Incorporated?
No, because then you must have office-bearers and memberships, which means you must screen members in or out… Cheers avoids this by being participants: a participant is anyone who wants to be a part of it. No incorporation, no members, no formal stuff. It’s just people.
What about Insurances, and finances etc?
For such activities as require it, Scripture Union WA provides Cheers with an auspice (insurance, accounting, banking, and best-practice safety & care guidelines). For such activities, there may be screening issues, police checks etc, as you’d expect anyway. On those occasions, Cheers is technically an activity of SUWA’s Neighbourhood Outreach department.
Do any other trustworthy organisations recognise Cheers?
As well as Scripture Union WA, we have the expressed support of the following reputable institutions: City of Wanneroo; Banksia Baptist; Baptist Churches of WA; Woodpile Baptist Church.
What about privacy issues?
As a matter of common decency, if special needs do come up, they are not for general broadcast. Only such info as is required to explain the situation is used, and wherever possible Cheers prefers to enable the people who raised it to act on it. If it gets any more complex than that, our SUWA auspice can ensure best-practice. (Likewise if Cheers celebrates your kindness, we won’t advertise it.)
Is Cheers a church?
No. It’s a network of friends in the neighbourhood. Cheers has no institution, no hierarchy, no staff, no buildings. It’s not trying to ‘get people in’ to something separate, but rather to ‘get people out’ towards each other, to encourage one another.
However, this may be a legitimate substitute for church. The community development ethos of Cheers does come from a Christian basis, which is inclusive: anyone can be involved. Technically, Cheers is an ‘ecclesia’ – an Old Greek socio-political term, for when locals gathered to consider how to make their whole community a better place.
Is Cheers really meant for Christians?
No. The Neighbours’ Network (CNN) involves lots of people who wouldn’t call themselves Christians – but they like Cheers’ ethos, action, and spirit. You don’t have to come to Cheers get togethers to be involved in other ways, but anyone can come to those for inspiration too.
So, why a “Christian basis”?
We’re upfront about Cheers’ basis, but every community group has some basis or another. As an inspiration and a foundation for wholistic community development, it’s hard to beat the life of Jesus – his way with people, his Spirit, his concerns, his notion of community life… is pretty much everyone’s dream. Plus, if God’s real then we need to pay attention to that! Besides, why not a Christian basis: you don’t have to be a “Christian” to want to emulate Christ.
How “big” is Cheers?
Depends how you look at it. Currently, at the collaboration level, it’s a network of over 150 people across Banksia Grove, many of whom don’t each other. At another level, over 70 people would identify themselves as part of Cheers in some way. At Cheers 24 (Family Time) there’d be over 20 regulars. At Cheers 13 (prayer & action-plans) just a handful. Special interest, & Steering meetings are attended by whoever is most affected by the decisions.
Being Part of it:
If Cheers interests you, you can do any of the following: