We had a great event for Neighbour Day on Sunday 18th March. The Brimbank City Council helped fund our BBQ with a Neighbour Day grant and we had about 50 neighbours through who were mightily impressed with what everyone contributed including great company, the famous pulled lamb of our new neighbour Luke and all the amazing healthy salads, muffins and cookies that we feasted on! It was a great day with a lovely team helping out including our resident Couch Street Fairy Lulu, Lucia Bourke who came incognito to wow us with her face painting for the kids and a wonderful party pack from the Albion and Friends Toy Library including a roller coaster ride for the toddlers. In addition to a Facebook post our generous neighbours printed and delivered 300 invites to the local streets and we were rewarded by meeting some new and old friends on the day. Extra fun with the weather turning nasty at the last minute!
Meet more neighbours this year – start now! The approaching summer season is a great time to bring your neighbours together and we’re outlining the simple steps to make it easy. If you’re one of those who have had great intentions to connect more in 2017 but still haven’t taken the plunge …try keeping it simple and start with just one gathering. Ideally, find a friend or neighbour to help to make it even easier. Here’s the steps to make it happen:
Choose a local park, front porch, front lawn, cafe or suitable spot to gather with your neighbours.
Neighbours in the Hilton Street by Street group got together recently for their annual litter clean-up and afternoon tea with some great outcomes for the participants and the environment. The group of nine adults, seven kids and two dogs dispersed across the neighbourhood and in just over half an hour, eleven bags of rubbish, two mattresses and a shopping trolley were picked up from the streets and lane ways. Then it was time to enjoy a delicious afternoon tea together on this sunny Sunday afternoon. During the afternoon, a number of the participants agreed to be part of a video for a new Street by Street Project promotional clip and shared their thoughts on belonging to our neighbourhood group and the benefits of being involved. The video is still in the making so we will keep you posted when it’s ready to view.
What started as one block of apartments expanded to the entire Esplanade and has further grown to include the residential part of Acland St and surrounding streets. With more and more people asking to join, there are now 99 members! We’ve chosen the name Green Knoll Neighbour Group as Green Knoll is an old name for St Kilda, particularly the bit of it near us. We started with one Community Connector, then two and now we have five people sharing the organising. We create lots of opportunities to meet up in person – St Kilda is full of great spots where we can share a meal, a drink or a coffee.
After a successful progressive dinner in 2014, the Hilton Street by Street group (WA) were keen to give it another go. An email message was sent to gather interest, dinner hosts volunteered their homes and people started planning their best party food. With more than 20 adults and 14 kids involved the logistics got a bit tricky but it all came together and was a fabulous success. With such a big group, it was decided to break into smaller groups for the main meal, so that we could all get to have a better chat with a few people. The evening kicked off at 5.00 pm under a beautiful shady peppermint tree in the front yard of our neighbour hosts. The tree house was a hit with the kids and adults got to have a drink with new and old faces.
A great afternoon was had by all at the recent inaugural Hilton Bake Off . Thanks to group member Fi who organised the event, we had 25 adults and kids and a superb array of sponge cakes ready to be judged by our local patisserie chef, Blake, who volunteered his time, expertise and taste buds! Only one cake could be a winner (the iced sponge in the photo) but the before and after shots tell it all-they were all delicious! Fi even sourced an op shop cake tray trophy which will be engraved with the winners name…now ain’t that the icing on the cake!? Congratulations to Deidre and Sasha who made the winning sponge.
Jonathan shares his story of the first neighbours meeting… About 12 neighbors, including three families and their children, meet for the first time in Belgrave, at a local cafe, as part of the street by street initiative. It was a very casual and enjoyable occasion. Everyone enjoyed getting to know one another and finding out where each other lived and what each of us did.There was strong interest in doing more social activities in the future as well as helping each other out in various ways and being generally a bit more neighborly. Parents were especially happy to meet other families with children.
As it was working so well in my building (see earlier blog post), I decided to connect with all the neighbours in my street – the Esplanade in St Kilda, Melbourne. A letter dropped invitation to everyone brought out some great people and we have been meeting in local cafes and getting to know one another over a drink or a meal. We all share a love for the area. My neighbour Lorraine has joined me in being a connector for the street and we are looking for people who will initiate gatherings within each building (as there are about 8 apartment buildings) in addition to our whole-of-street group. We have 49 people in the group so far.
Approximately 30 neighbours gathered at a riverside park in East Fremantle, on a sunny Spring Saturday morning, for no other reason than to say hello and get to know one another a little better. The Town of East Fremantle supported the event, printing the flyers which were distributed by Street by Street volunteers into letterboxes 3 weeks prior to the date. (Contingency was made in case of rain, with an alternate date if “Wet’, which was prudent as the initial Saturday saw freezing temperatures and rain so was postponed!) A banner was also made which was used to promote the gathering and to be displayed at the Park on the day. The Mayor of East Fremantle Mr Jim O’Neill attended the gathering with warmth and friendliness- neighbours enjoyed the chance to meet the Mayor but there was no “politics” being aired. Neighbours were invited to bring some morning tea along (no nuts), and for around 3 hours a lovely time was had by all, with new friendships being made, connections established about activities going on in the neighbourhood e.g. Dragon boating, and enthusiasm for when the next Street by Street will be held- Summer. Warmest wishes,
Like many people I thought it was a great idea to connect with my neighbours and start living in a community instead of just a street, but I hadn’t got around to it. With Neighbour Day approaching on March 29 I bit the bullet and dropped an invitation for morning tea in my apartment in the letterboxes of all the people (owners and renters) in my building. Fourteen neighbours came along, many meeting for the first time. We haven’t looked back! Every month or so we have morning tea in different apartments, with 10 to 20 people coming each time.