After a summer of increased COVID-19 cases, following two years of pandemic lockdowns, 2022 is the year individuals and communities can create more meaningful, sustainable social connections and respectful relationships to improve health and wellbeing. Connections don’t just happen. They take effort. Often it is the small things which make a difference.
Neighbour Day, which is on Sunday 27 March 2022, is Relationships Australia’ssocial connection campaign that encourages people to reach out and make sustainable connections with those around them.
The Neighbour Day 2022 official theme is “Connecting Communities for 20 years” – celebrating the 20-year anniversary of Neighbour Day, continuing to build the communities people want to live and thrive in.
Research shows that communities where people know each other have better mental health, are safer, and are more resilient. Neighbour Day is a practical and effective way to help address loneliness across our communities. Loneliness is detrimental to our overall wellbeing. Social connection and increasing sustainable respectful relationships is the key to better outcomes for individuals and communities alike.
Neighbour Day is the perfect opportunity to connect with your community
Local Neighbour Day Events
Deckchair Sunsets is a local Neighbour Day initiative which started in 2013 with a vision of the local community coming together to share food and conversation to foster wellbeing and resilience.
In 2022 Neighbour Day is especially important – to revitalise connections between neighbours after Covid lockdowns. Everyone has been fraught for different reasons, so it’s reassuring to come together to celebrate Neighbour Day.
Deckchair Sunsets is the recipient of funding through the Woollahra Council revitalisation grants program, which was designed to help businesses, community groups and individuals rejuvenate the local Woollahra area after a tough few months in lockdown.
“We started off with a few Deckchairs, picnic blankets and a single small trestle. Now we have a few tables for food and drinks and a marquee shade-cover to anchor the event. We all enjoy taking a couple of hours to catch up with the neighbours,” said Deckchair Sunsets founder Angela Galgut.
“Over the years, The Reserve has gone from a drought stricken patch of brown grass into a luscious Native Garden for all to enjoy, thanks to several volunteer Community Gardeners.
“The warmth of communal spirit is always alive and well in our neighbourhood. We stand together to support each other in the face of challenges,” said Angela.
Connecting with local community at Deckchair Sunsets
The benefits of Deckchair Sunsets
Angela explains that there are a number of reasons why Deckchair Sunsets was originally set up, including reaching out to people who live on their own, to avoid them being isolated as well as to utilise local greenspace as a neighbourhood hub for communal gatherings – thereby anchoring the community.
Angela said that there have been many benefits of these community gettogethers. She said that great friendships have been forged between residents from the different streets and some even socialise together outside of the Deckchair Sunsets events.
The neighbourhood events have built bridges between the different streets, creating a cohesive community who aim for a balanced, harmonious neighbourhood. Another positive spin-off being a communal native garden in Derby Street Reserve and street projects improving the amenity of the streets.
The spectacular sunset at Deckchair Sunsets
Rose Bay Community Garden
After two years of Covid, the Rose Bay Community Garden is finally able to open their gates to celebrate our local community. The Rose Bay Community Garden is hosting a Neighbour day event on Sunday 27 March.
Come mingle with your neighbours and enjoy a relaxing afternoon, including:
- Meeting our chooks
- Craft activities
- Sausage sizzle and gelato
When: Sunday 27th March 2022
Time: 2pm – 5pm
Where: Rose Bay Community Garden, Woollahra Oval 2, at the end of Manion Ave Car Park
How you can be a good neighbour on Neighbour Day (and every other day too)
- Organise a driveway dinner, drinks or dancing (in each of your driveways at the same time).
- Leave a connection card for your neighbours.
- Set up a ‘Bear Hunt’ or other observation type activity for children.
- Set up a contact / buddy program to support older neighbours.
- Chalk art / neighbourly messages on driveway / footpath or a hopscotch game!
- Create an art display in your neighbourhood.
- Help a neighbour with their garden / yard or garage clean up.
- Drop off ‘bags of hugs’ care packages; chocolates or fruit; ‘appreciation notes’; home baked goods or a meal; your contact details; flowers, spare eggs, veggies, plant cuttings, seedlings; notes / letters; activities for kids e.g. colouring in pages.
- Run an errand for a neighbour, volunteer at a local community organisation, pay it forward at a café and buy the next person’s coffee, do some ‘Random Acts of Kindness.’
- Text a nearby neighbour to check how they are feeling.
- Call a neighbour for a general chat.
- Check your contacts and call people you haven’t spoken with in more than a few months.
- Start a Facebook or Instagram or WhatsApp group to connect to your neighbours.
Host your own Neighbour Day event
Neighbour Day is a time to encourage social connections so it’s a great opportunity to organise a Neighbour Day get together. Think of something your neighbours might enjoy – for example a BBQ, morning tea or some friendly games. The Neighbour Day website has lots of resources to provide ideas and inspiration for Neighbour Day local events and how to set these up.
For more information about Neighbour Day or to find an event near you, visit neighbourday.org