Connecting through sharing and helping

The Sharehood And Streetbank

gardenBoth the Sharehood and Streetbank promote local community and sharing. The Sharehood has merged with Streetbank under the name Streetbank Australia.

In 2008 the Sharehood Collective started up in Northcote, inner Melbourne, then in 2013 the neighbourhood of West Melbourne was chosen to participate in the Sharehood Neighbour Project, a project to encourage neighbours to share and connect.

FIRST: The West Melbourne project kicked off with a ‘fun, yummy and informative afternoon tea’ and lots of ideas on how to connect with neighbours and offers, for example using the local church garden space as a community garden.

THEN: By the time of the third afternoon tea in September there had been an offer by a local photographer to kick things along with a public exhibition and then movie nights hosted at local cafes.

LATER: Working bees were held at the Miller St Community Garden with lots of herbs, flowers and vegetables planted, a compost bin set up and lots of unwanted vegetation removed. Movie nights were run.

Streetbank is a free site that helps you share and borrow things from your neighbours. Streetbank is meant for everyone. It is not for private benefit – for individuals to make a profit or professionals to sell their services. It is for the common good. Communities that help each other are closer, nicer, and friendlier to live in. You must list at least one thing you are willing to share and you can make requests if what you want is not listed in your area.

You can list just about anything that can be lent, given away or any skill that you may possess. In the past people have added books and DVDs, CDs and gardening equipment, old sofas, chairs, tables and filing cabinets to give away, computer games, back issues of magazines, French lessons and language tuition, computer help, bicycle repair, etc, etc.


Shareable Save money, reduce waste, and build community through sharing. In fact, Shareable’s co-founder Neal Gorenflo made new friends and saved $17,000 in 2011 during his “Year of Living Shareably.”

Lots of How To info: (see useful web resources)


Regency Towers Group / Towers of Support

In 2001, a group of residents in our apartment building containing 222 units in Melbourne’s CBD formed a social group to get to know our neighbours. Social activities include movie nights, monthly drinks nights, wine tasting, Christmas and mid year functions.  A sub group called Towers of Support (20 people currently) provides short term support to those in need due to illness or temporary incapacity. This includes letting in visitors or a doctor, collecting mail, shopping, etc. The social group puts out a quarterly newsletter and gives a card to new residents on how to contact members of Towers of Support, who are trained in locking down the only lift that takes an ambulance trolley, and to assist in an emergency. In April 2014, my husband collapsed in our apartment, and a serious consequence was averted when a support person provided lift access for the ambulance crew.

Maureen Capp, Co-ordinator Regency Towers Group Email


In Your Street – helping older residents

In Your Street is a free service linking an older person with a person who lives in the same street or nearby for social contact and assistance with small tasks like taking out the rubbish, walking the dog or just having a chat. It is provided by Uniting Communities to people 65 and over who are socially isolated and living in the Adelaide metropolitan area.


Helping Hands, a past project of the Picabeen Community Centre in Brisbane, involved a listing of a wide range of types of help people were willing to give to those who need it – nothing was expected in return, helpers were happy to give freely. Help ranged from practical assistance to lifts, to mentoring, to teaching…


Book a Brain, a project of the Maleny Library, allows people to ‘borrow’ the knowledge / skills of member of the community when they need it, just as they can borrow a book. The library recruits ‘brains’, maintains a list of what community members can assist others with and makes bookings.


Child Care Clubs / Babysitting Clubs enable parents and carers to assist one another by looking after children. A points system is used to keep track. Friendships often result from helping others in this way.