Open door to neighbours

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Relationships Australia and the City of Kwinana are encouraging residents to connect with their neighbours in their day-to-day life as part of a new Neighbour Day Every Day initiative to combat social isolation.

The new year-round initiative follows Australia’s annual Neighbour Day celebration, an annual event established by Relationships Australia in an effort to create ongoing connections between people and their communities.

With the support of Relationships Australia, the City of Kwinana is the first local government in Australia to encourage residents to open doors to their fellow residents every day, not just on Neighbour Day.

Mayor Carol Adams encouraged communities to support each other by meeting with their neighbours to share a barbecue, play sport or simply catch up over a cup of coffee.

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“Feedback from the community often centres around the need for people to feel more connected with their neighbours, to feel they belong and to feel safe in their homes,” she said. “We have found that people feel safer and have greater wellbeing when they know they are surrounded by a local support network.”

Research shows one in 10 people lack social support or connection, and one in six are experiencing emotional loneliness.

Relationships Australia national executive officer Nick Tebbey said connections with neighbours often helped people emerge from loneliness, build a sense of belonging and give them a sense of purpose and identity.

“We are delighted that the City of Kwinana, as one of our Very Neighbourly Organisations, has taken the lead and created the Neighbour Day Every Day program to support their community to connect with neighbours year-round,” he said.

Anyone interested in hosting a Neighbour Day Every Day gathering is encouraged to contact the City for more resources and to book a free activity box for the day, which includes giant Connect4, giant Jenga and various sporting equipment.

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