A new campaign is supporting Canberrans to connect with their neighbours to help build and maintain community connections.
Part of the ACT Government’s Community Recovery Plan, Minister for Community Services and Facilities Suzanne Orr said the “Know Your Neighbour program encourages the community to build stronger relationships with the people who live around us, which we know makes our community healthier and our neighbourhoods safer”.
Yet, while many in the community are increasing social contact with the easing of restrictions, there are also many people who will continue to isolate to protect their health.
In particular, C Moore, CEO Women with Disabilities ACT, said “people with disabilities and people with chronic health conditions or illness may continue to self-isolate”.
“It’s important we look out for each other. By looking out for your neighbours, we can create a more inclusive, connected and friendlier Canberra.”
According to the ACT Government, getting to know your neighbours is important for many reasons including: social connection; increased quality of life, healthier and happier neighbourhoods; feeling safe, engaged and an overall sense of belonging; a readiness to co-operate, mutual respect and common aspirations; increased security with neighbours looking out for each other; and localised assistance during a natural disaster and/or health crisis like COVID-19.
The Know Your Neighbour card is a great way to take the first step in reaching out and breaking the ice. You can print and fill in the card (attached to the front cover of this edition) or you can write your own message and drop it in your neighbour’s letterbox.
A few things to consider before you get started:
Consider how you approach people: You may not have met these people before, or you maybe just know them from across the street. Consider the best way to make contact and respect your neighbour’s privacy.
Protect your health and the safety of others: Follow government guidelines at all times and don’t offer assistance if you are sick.
For more information, visit the Connect in Canberra website act.gov.au/connectincanberra, an information hub to help you stay in the loop, keep connected, be part of your community and get assistance and support if you need it.