Happy neighbours also tend to be healthier neighbours and Tweed residents are being encouraged a hold a gathering to meet the people who live nearby.
Sunday 26 March is Neighbour Day, an annual initiative by Relationships Australia, to encourage and assist people to meet and build stronger connections to the people in their neighbourhood.
Mayor of Tweed, Councillor Katie Milne, urged the community to give this initiative a try.
“This is a lovely and simple way for the community to get to know each other. Even if you don’t have time to socialise with your neighbours on a regular basis, it’s very reassuring to know there’s someone close that has got your back and will look out for you,” Cr Milne said.
“Tweed is still small enough to have that lovely community feel but if we take it for granted it could slip away as we get more and more development. This is just the sort of thing that makes strong communities. And, you never know, magic may happen. How great would it be to find a new friend, or someone that shares your passion, so conveniently close?”
Invitations, posters and everything else needed to promote and host a Neighbour Day gathering can be downloaded from www.neighbourday.org and packs are available from Council’s Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah offices.
Council is going to get the Neighbour Day ball rolling in 2017 by hosting a morning tea at the South Tweed Community Centre on Friday 17 March from 10.30am.
“Representatives from some of the groups that help to keep our community vibrant and connected – such as residents association members, Neighbourhood Watch, seniors activities and the Country Women’s Association – have been invited for an early celebration to help spread the word about Neighbour Day,” Council’s Director of Community and Natural Resources, Tracey Stinson, said.
“We’re also extending an open invitation to members of the community to come along to share some light refreshments and get to know some of the active groups in their area.”
People living in neighbourhoods that are highly connected generally enjoy higher levels of physical and mental health.
“Social connection makes us feel better because it helps prevent loneliness, isolation and depression. When you connect with the people who live nearby, you’re showing you care about what happens locally and are directly supporting safe, friendly and resilient neighbourhoods,” Ms Stinson said.
Neighbour Day activities can be as big or small as you’d like. Organise an event on your own or work with a group of neighbours to host an event. It could be BYO-everything gathering, a game of cricket in the local park, afternoon tea in the back paddock or an outdoor movie – just to name a few. Visit www.neighbourday.org for a number of event ideas.
“Whether it’s a cuppa, a picnic in the park or a message of support, Neighbour Day is the perfect opportunity to say thanks for being a great neighbour and for being there when needed,” she said.
“Everyone is encouraged to contact Neighbour Day through their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts to share their neighbourhood stories and exciting plans. You can download a Neighbour Day sign from the Neighbour Day website for selfies and post neighbourly pics on your favourite social media platform.”
Neighbour Day is held by Relationships Australia, a national not-for-profit organisation working to improve relationships in all their forms. Visit www.relationships.org.au for more information.