It’s time to fire up the barbeque and sweep off the patio. Neighbour Day (28 March) is just around the corner and locals are being encouraged to get together and celebrate connected communities.
One year on from the peak of the pandemic lockdowns in Queensland and elsewhere, the value of neighbours supporting each other in times of need has never been stronger.
Sunshine Coast Council Community Portfolio Councillor David Law said with this year’s Neighbour Day theme being “Every day is neighbour day” people were being called on to help break down loneliness in our neighbourhoods.
“This can be done by building meaningful and sustainable social connections with people around you – even if it’s as simple as stopping to have a chat or inviting your neighbour over for a cuppa and asking if they’re OK,” Cr Law said.
“Connected people connect communities and make up the social fabric of our society.
“That’s a key goal of our Sunshine Coast Community Strategy 2019-2041 and a great way for people to start is by looking at our At Home in My Neighbourhood toolkit, which offers lots of practical tips and strategies for the all-important ice-breaker.”
Tips on how to create connections with your neighbours:
- Reach out and check on your neighbours and assist those who may be isolated or unable to cope, especially our older neighbours.
- Leave a contact card in your neighbour’s mailbox with your phone number and how you can help i.e. shopping or running errands. You can use council’s free downloadable postcard.
- If you can’t physically visit can you speak to your neighbours over a fence, try across balconies or from the end of the driveway?
- Join or start a community or neighbourhood page on social media.
- Walk around the neighbourhood and say g’day when you see your neighbours – a smile and a wave could be the start of a new friendship.
- Take the initiative and plan a neighbourhood gathering or project.
- Offer to help your neighbour with a job around the house or garden, or offer to share your skills.
- Drop-off a meal if your neighbour has been unwell or is having a tough time.
- Be a good neighbour and a great listener. For conversation tips visit ruok.org.au
- Welcome new neighbours by introducing yourself and perhaps take over a bunch of flowers, a pot plant – anything inexpensive and cheerful.
Visit the Neighbour Day website for more neighbourly tips.
Image: Connect with your neighbours this Neighbour Day