These organisations share our values and help people connect locally in person and/or promote stronger communities and positive mental health through social connection. There are so many great ways to create community in neighbourhoods and a connected neighbourhoods movement includes all of them.
The Welcome Dinner Project, established in 2013, is an initial platform to spark connection between people who are new to Australia with established community members over a shared meal in someone’s home or a trusted community space. Everyone brings a plate of food to share and our highly skilled volunteer facilitators encourage guests to share the story of their food and other areas they may have in common, throughout the dinner. These events are powerful ways to build trust, belonging and connection between people and break through cultural, social and other barriers, as we share food and stories. www.joiningthedots.org
Befriend works to catalyse a movement of individuals and organisations working together to champion the power of connection and community in nurturing a thriving society. The organisation acts as a platform to energise and support local residents taking action to connect people in their local area, through inclusive social networks. Befriend also undertakes place-based community-connecting projects, community sector workforce development and inclusion-focused consultancy. www.Befriend.org.au
The Town Team Movement helps town teams to organise, engage and empower their local communities. Town teams are groups of businesses and residents working proactively with their local government to create active, resilient and successful places. There are several Town Teams in Western Australia – find out more at www.TownTeams.com.au.
Love Our Street aims to bring people together as a community to look after our environment, to keep our streets beautifully clean and stop litter getting into our creeks, canals, on to the beach or in the ocean. Once a month, we meet at one of our local shopping streets for a clean-up and a cuppa afterwards. There are several Love Our Street groups in Melbourne – see www.BeachPatrol.com.au/LOS or Facebook
Beach Patrol, through the power of local resident members and community spirit, is helping to clean the beaches of Melbourne. Beach Patrol is a chain of volunteer community groups each defined by suburb, postcode and t-shirt colour. People donate one hour of their time each month to help keep the beaches cleaner and safer for the greater enjoyment of all. For more info www.BeachPatrol.com.au
At 3000 Acres, we want to see more people growing more food in more places. Since 2014, we have been working to break down the barriers to urban agriculture by empowering communities with the skills and knowledge to grow fresh healthy food, enabling the transformation of under-utilised land into great community spaces and influencing the regulatory environment to make it easier to grow more food in more places. We aim to normalise food growing as an expected feature of healthy and resilient urban landscapes. We want community spaces to be available for people to come together, grow, learn, share and feel connected. For more info www.3000acres.org
Friends for Good aims to free people from loneliness. We operate Friend Line, a free telephone service for anyone who would like to chat to a friendly volunteer. This is available Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings between 6-8pm. The number to call is 1800 4 CHATS. Soon we’ll have an online chatting service, pen pals letter writing exchange, and events to bring people in the community together. For more info www.friendsforgood.org.au.
Since its creation in 1989, the Bank of I.D.E.A.S. has worked with over 2000 communities throughout Australia and overseas seeking to facilitate fresh and creative ways that stimulate community and local economic renewal. Bank of I.D.E.A.S. has undertaken assignments in 59 countries. www.BankofIDEAS.com.au/
Nature Play QLD is a not-for-profit with the mission to increase the time kids spend in unstructured play outdoors. It is founded on the understanding that unstructured play outdoors – nature play – is fundamental to a full and healthy childhood. We are a champion of neighbourhood play for children so they can connect with other children in their local area for play. Head here for free resources to help: www.NaturePlayQLD.org.au
CoDesign Studio is a purpose driven placemaking and activation consultancy. We specialize in facilitation of locally-led processes to leverage place strengths and realise potential. Our award-winning collaborative city making framework has been road tested in over 120 neighbourhoods to turn developments, public spaces, mainstreets and activity centres into places that people love and feel connected to. Our flagship community offering, The Neighbourhood Project, is Australia’s largest community-led placemaking program, and has been embraced by urban and regional Councils Australia-wide. CoDesign Studio is a registered social enterprise. We work nationally, with offices in Melbourne and Brisbane – see www.codesignstudio.com.au
Relationships Australia is the home of Neighbour Day (since 2014). Neighbour Day’s principal aim is to build better relationships with those who live around us, especially the elderly and vulnerable. This year-round campaign peaks on the last Sunday in March every year, with people celebrating at Neighbour Day events and taking neighbourly actions across Australia – all with the aim of fostering strong personal connections that last. Neighbour Day brings together like-minded people, resources, and organisations to grow stronger, well-connected communities. www.neighbourday.org
The Good Karma Effect creates opportunities for people to make a positive difference by providing tools, inspiration and insights, and removing barriers and challenges. In April 2016 the Kensington Good Karma Network was created to give neighbours the opportunity to ask for help and for others to be able to provide that help. 12 months, 3000 members and hundreds of positive interactions later the GOOD KARMA EFFECT was obvious. There are currently 42 Good Karma Networks around Australia – see www.GoodKarmaEffect.com