This weekend on Sunday 29 March, Australia will celebrate Neighbour Day, an initiative from Relationships Australia, which this year is a timely reminder for everyone to check in on those most vulnerable in their community.
Although neighbours cannot socialise face-to-face this year, Relationships Australia has recommended neighbours be creative and find other ways to connect.
AVID Property Group (AVID), the developer behind the masterplanned community Harmony in Palmview, is helping its residents do just that, this week asking them to lend a hand and help support their community during, what are for some, challenging times.
AVID General Manager Queensland Bruce Harper said there was plenty of ways neighbours could reach out while still following social distancing guidelines.
“We have been able to engage with our community through our digital channels to encourage them to check in on their neighbours, including those most vulnerable like the elderly,” Mr Harper said.
“This could be through social media or leaving a card with a kind message and a phone number for those who are isolated, so they can call if they ever need help or just a friendly chat.
“It is the everyday interactions between neighbours which make all the difference – little acts like a wave over the fence or picking up the phone to check in on each other can go a long way in building long-lasting worthwhile relationships.”
Being a part of a connected community is a key feature of Harmony and is made possible by Harmony’s own dedicated Community Development Officer Susana Waldron who helps residents organise a variety of community activities and is currently actively working to bring these online.
To kick off the new ‘virtual community’, many residents took part in a live-streamed yoga session on Monday and a weekly online workout will be shared each Wednesday – for those looking to keep up their regular fitness regime from home.
“During these challenging times, it is important we still come together in an online capacity to connect and do the things we enjoy – like exercising or just having a chat,” Mr Harper said.
“With many of our residents choosing to self-isolate, Susana has been working with the community to bring the many different community activities and social groups online, while also checking in on those most vulnerable – ensuring they have access to everything they need.
“It has been amazing to see, especially over the past few days, residents reaching out to support those in need within our community.”