Mend the dividing fence on Neighbour Day
THROW a sausage on the BBQ, open the front gate and welcome your next-door residents to celebrate Good Neighbour Day with you and your family today.
Never heard about Neighbour Day? That's okay, you can make this year the start of annual community bonding session.
It's a national event, with each year having its own theme and the aim of building better relationships between the people who live close to us.
The theme this year is social connection for the elderly.
Look around you and see who of your neighbours is old and frail, and invite them out of their isolation and into your happy community group.
If having the locals to your place isn't your thing, what about trying some of these ideas to connect with them:
- Claim the grass, or concrete, area outside your front fence, set yourself up with two chairs - one for you and one for someone else, add an umbrella and a cold drink, then make a point of having a chat with everyone who passes by.
- Find a piece of green in your area and invite your neighbours to bring a plate and a chair, and meet up for a bit of a do.
- Learn your neighbour's name and then remember it.
- Find a neighbour you haven't met as yet and go introduce yourselves.
- Try cooking something savoury or sweet, or buy it from the local shop, and take it over to the neighbour you have never met or haven't spoken to in a long time.
- Pop a six-pack or bottle of wine under your arm and stride along to the next door's neighbour's place to enjoy some social time.
- Gather some of your neighbours together and go do a group street clean-up.
- Slow down and take the time to smile at everyone you see on the street.
- Park your car so it doesn't sit across your neighbour's driveway.
- Start a good neighbour group.
- Start a neighbourhood pantry to help out someone who is struggling financially.
- Start a neighbourhood book swap.
If you have elderly residents in your area:
- Drop a note under the front door of an elderly resident inviting them to ring you or walk across the road and join in your community event.
- Take them down to the local RSL for a counter lunch.
- Offer to do their shopping, or drive them to and from the shops, or offer to walk their dog.
- Help them connect with distant family by iphone or skype.
- Check their mail is collected from their letterbox.
- Get your kids to do an around-the-house job for your elderly neighbour.
- Enjoying the company of your neighbour doesn't have to stop on Sunday night.
Every day can be a good 'hood day.