With people moving frequently and the stress on families due to busy, hectic lives, building strong neighbourhood connections is getting harder. A sense of real community has often been lost.
Yet building better connections on our streets can transform whole neighbourhoods into healthly, fun and vibrant places to live.
Rebecca Harrington, a community development worker with Lifewise and Takapuna Methodist Church came up with a simple solution, which she called Know Your Neighbours.
Rebecca started working with people on a few streets in Auckland's North Shore. She supported and coached them to work in their street to get people together and build connections. She recorded what happened, told their stories, encouraged others to get involved and gradually created a community of interest around the Know Your Neighbour philosophy.
This North Shore initiative was a partnership between Lifewise and the Methodist Church in Takapuna.
From this beginning, grew the idea of Neighbours Day 2009, promoting one special day to encourage Aucklanders to start to get to know their neighbours. Lifewise is now working with Inspiring Communities, the Mental Health Foundation and Neighbourhood Support to make Neighbours Day Aotearoa 2013 something all New Zealanders can get involved in.
You can read some of the Know Your Neighbours updates Rebecca put together.
If you'd like more information, please contact Rebecca: RebeccaH@lifewise.org.nz