In 2019, Neighbour Day is issuing a Loneliness Challenge to all Australians.
“We are asking everyone to help end loneliness in their neighbourhood by committing to create a connection with someone in their local community each week this March,” said Nick Tebbey, National Executive Officer, Relationships Australia.
“It could be a small action – a few friendly words across the back fence, inviting an elderly neighbour in for a cuppa, organising a community get-together, or stopping for a chat when walking the dog,” Mr Tebbey said.
“Or it could be a grand gesture – organising a big neighbourhood barbecue, engaging the neighbours in a street fair, putting on a community concert.
“This year, our theme for Neighbour Day is ‘loneliness – what neighbours can do to create connections’.
“The theme builds on the work done by Relationships Australia in 2018 to raise awareness of the loneliness crisis facing Australia.
“This research found that one in 10 people are lacking social support or connection and one in six are experiencing emotional loneliness and just under 1.5 million Australians are reporting that they’ve been lonely for a decade or more.
“At Neighbour Day, we believe that we can all take steps to help address this loneliness crisis and the best place to start is by reaching out to our neighbours and help them find connections in our local communities.
“We are enlisting the help of our Neighbour Day Ambassadors to provide some inspiration on how you can take on the Loneliness Challenge and we will be providing some tips of our own via social media, right through the month of March,” Mr Tebbey said.
While Neighbour Day this year is officially on Sunday 31 March, neighbourhood-building activities can be done every day in March and all year long.
3 TOP TIPS
Do try this at home! Relationships Australia shares some ‘Very Neighbourly Tips’ to take a crack at:
- Start simply: Say G’day when you see your neighbours in the street or building.
- Connect with neighbours by spending more time on your veranda, balcony or front yard.
- Take in your neighbour’s wheelie or recycling bin.