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Social connection was a timely theme for this year’s Neighbour Day with the importance of staying connected shown more than ever with Tasmanians in lock down.
Relationships Australia Tasmania and Healthy Tasmania are excited to share an update on the fantastic activities some of the Neighbour Day 2020 grant recipients have undertaken to create social connections in their communities.
Challenge entrants had the chance to get $500 and up to $5 000 grants for project to connect their communities and address loneliness. We extended the challenge this year to fund 22 projects and make everyday a Neighbour Day!
Read the full list of Healthy Tasmania Neighbour Day Community Challenge projects.
Neighbour Day is on 28 March 2021 with the theme ‘Every day is neighbour day’. How will you celebrate and connect with your neighbours this year?
Read some of the inspiring stories from last year’s successful winners.
Midway Point Neighbourhood House hosted a community garden open day at the end of 2020 which brought the community out in force. More people attended than in previous years, which event organisers attributed to the impact of COVID-19 and the need for people to seek social connection within their community. The event included live music, stalls, food vans, face painting and more. A neighbourhood house volunteer had her head shaved for the World’s Greatest Shave and raised over $700 for this worthy cause. The event led to new people in the community accessing the neighbourhood house and all it has to offer.
Kentish House in conjunction with Kentish Lions club hosted Kentish Neighbour Day in the park which was attended by 300 locals in December. The event included a jumping castle, live entertainment and a BBQ. The focus of the event was to bring people together for some fun and create a pebble mural for display at Kentish House. People were invited to paint a pebble which was then added to the mural. There was very positive feedback from the community about how enjoyable the day was.
Lower Barrington Hall committee have completed the next stage of their hall upgrades with the addition of a locally made community notice board. The plants are thriving, that were planted during the community planting day which brought new residents and neighbours together last year. Community murals are planned to bring people together in their creation and further beautify the hall and improve its appeal for community gatherings.
The Polish Welfare Office achieved their goal of creating 100 fabric bags to reduce reliance on plastic bags and provide resources to clients in reusable bags. Twenty-six clients, staff and volunteers created the bags with contributions from older community members during the pandemic and even from girl guides interstate. The activity allowed people to express their creativity and was featured in a display, newsletters and social media with it being a regular talking point amongst clients.
Southern Beaches Neighbourhood Watch has been established to increase community connection, especially with local police. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, Okines Community House has worked with the local community to set up a neighbourhood watch. They have established connections with police and community through a ‘cuppa with a cop’ series, initiated a Southern Beaches Neighbourhood Watch Facebook page and created a newsletter. They also successfully hosted a youth forum with youth leaders and workers in the community to discuss what they can do to make a difference. Future plans include meeting with youth workers in other areas to discuss ideas for youth projects. The Neighbourhood Watch continue to connect and meet monthly.
Free2Be Girls volunteers created activity packs which were delivered to girls in the St Helens, St Marys, Beaconsfield and Longford groups during COVID-19 lock down to get their creativity flowing during this challenging time. The Break O’Day groups extended this to all local young people with assistance from the council and local radio to create a weekly creative challenge to connect young people. This proved popular during lock down receiving many creative entries.
Devonport Ageing Stronger Active Longer got people active during lockdown by creating work out videos for older people. Participants were grateful to have a sense of normal during this time with new participants joining the program and exercising regularly after viewing the videos. The workouts are available online
Warrane Community Garden used their Neighbour Day grant in the construction of a verandah at the garden to be used for social gatherings. It has already provided a dry place to shelter at recent working bees and equipment maintenance sessions.
Mole Creek have commenced the construction of a pizza oven and street library for their community garden which will be used to connect the community through food and reading.
Geeveston Community Centre connected with isolated community members during the height of COVID-19 by sending cards created by local artists. They have continued to reach out to older community members this way as part of the meal delivery service they initiated in response to community need during lockdown.
The Health Action Team Central Highlands have started the first Spoonville village in Tasmania and encouraged local families to add to the village as a way to connect and get crafty during lockdown. They also initiated a snail mail buddy project, with children from Westerway and Ouse schools getting involved in writing to more isolated members of their communities. Since lockdown they have connected people through COVID safe interactive workshops such as Kokedama workshops.
At the end of September Circular Head Council hosted the first of their series of community lunches to increase social connection within the community. They had over 40 people attend, with many engaging in an active game of cricket.
The Child Health Association and its Family Food Patch Program put smiles on the faces of children across Tasmania with their Family Activity Packs. 75 grateful families received activity packs to support them in engaging with the Child Health Association of Tasmania’s Virtual Haven.
Families were encouraged to get active together through games such as frisbee or cooking new healthy recipes together.
One family said “Thank you so much for the pack we received! It was incredible! A truly wonderful initiative. It will definitely help us to #stay and play! We’re truly grateful…my boys were so excited with all of its contents”.
Families shared the resources safely with other families in their neighbourhoods to encourage other children to keep their minds and bodies active during lock down.
A parent shared that “my eldest is most excited by the recipe books and has been picking out what she’s planning to cook. Thank you so much CHAT. Such an amazing initiative to keep kids mind active.”
Everyday can be Neighbour Day
Neighbour Day last Sunday in March
Child Health Association and Family Food Patch Neighbour Day Initiative 2020 Isolation Edition
We collated and packed a totoal of 75 Activity Packs for families across the state
15 in Southern Tas
15 in Norther Tas
15 in North West Tas
And 30 in South East Tas Communities for children catchment (funded separately)
Packs were designed to support families to eat well and be active during lockdown and to stay connected by engaging with CHAT’s Virtual Haven online engagement opportunities.
Thank you to our fabulous helpers
We enlisted helpers to sort and pack the 75 goody bags
We received some heart warming feedback: Thea, 4, from Bridgewater was so excited to receive her pack, her smile says it all!
Allyse says: Thank you so so much for the pack we have received! It is incredible!!! A truly wonderful initiative. It will definitely help us to #stayandplay! We are truly grateful…my boys were so excited with all of its contents.
Tegan says: Thank you so much for our pack! It arrived yesterday and I was blown away by what was included. We already have a copy of the book, so we’re going to gift that and a couple of the other things to a family in our street for Neighbour Day. Thanks again!
Venny says: Thank you very much for the pack, my kids love it. We made rainbows out of clay and my kids love the juggling balls so much. We can’t wait to try the recipes.
Bek Says: Thank you so much for the activity pack. My almost 3 year old loves playing frisbee outside with Dad!!
Such a great initiative for lock down very much appreciated.
We asked pack recipients to ‘share the love’ and share items with Neighbours (from a distance). We hope to build community and create connections during this time of isolation. Recipients were connected directly to CHAT’s online engagement opportunities.
Tamika says: We received ours today and my eldest is most excited about the recipe books and has been picking out what she’s going to cook. Thank you so much CHAT such an amazing initiative to keep kids minds active.
Public Health Services
Relationships Australia Tasmania
Communities for Children South East for making this initiative possible.
Family Food Patch
Child Health Association Tasmania
There was dancing in the streets of Launceston, Ravenswood and Rocherlea during COVID-19 lock down.
YMCA by the Village people was the song of choice played by Chilli FM throughout the 5 street shuffle events.
Healthy Tasmania Pty Ltd who created the events and led the dancing were inspired by similar initiatives around the world to connect neighbours and work colleagues through their street shuffles.
Locals were encouraged through a series of promotions to go out into the street in front of their homes, appropriately social distanced, and dance.
There was enthusiastic participation by local residents, the staff of Door of Hope and YMCA Launceston. It not only got people outside and moving but many neighbours connecting during isolation who hadn’t before. Residents commented that it was so nice to see friendly faces dancing in their street.