Left to right: Mosman Community Connects convenor Mark Alderson and member Tina Jackson with Mosman Council Community Support Officers Lyn Kelleher and Chantal Kerr.

Getting to know your Mosman neighbours

02 March 2016

‘The community you want starts at your front door’ is the message being promoted for Neighbour Day which will be celebrated on Sunday 27 March (Easter Sunday).

Neighbour Day is Australia’s annual celebration of community, held on the last Sunday of March each year and is the perfect day to say thanks for being a great neighbour, connect with new neighbours and feel part of the community.

With local community groups, Mosman Council is promoting neighbourliness by encouraging residents to celebrate in their own way, such as having a chat with the people next door, inviting new neighbours in for a cup of tea, organising a neighbourhood barbecue, or dropping in an Easter egg.

Mosman Connects convenor, Mark Alderson, who is working with Council to connect community groups and residents, highlighted the importance of neighbourliness in building better relationships with the people around us.

“Neighbours are important because good relationships can have a positive influence on our quality of life and can and do change communities for the better,” he said. “Social connection makes us feel more positive and it helps prevent many of the social problems of loneliness, isolation and depression while also making our streets and neighbourhoods safer.”

Residents and volunteers, Tina Jackson and Kate Brown demonstrate the neighbourly spirit of Mosman, with Tina helping to organise a barbecue in her street to celebrate Neighbour Day and keeping community groups connected through the Mosman Connects community group Facebook page and Kate providing regular visits and outings as a Neighbour Aid / Social Support volunteer for an older resident who lives at home but would not otherwise have the ability to get out and socialise.

Kate and Tina agree that neighbourliness can be about reaching out to the people next door, in your street or neighbourhood, or to the people in your community through volunteering.

“Being a Neighbour Aid / Social Support volunteer is so rewarding, in that you see the positive difference you are making to the quality of life of residents who are older or with a disability by providing social connection and support and at the same time you value the relationship you develop with them … we are always looking for more volunteers,” Kate said.

Mosman Council supports a number of volunteer programs which give residents the opportunity to support their neighbours who are frail, older people or younger people with disabilities. Through Neighbour Aid / Social Support Program, Home Library, Saturday Social Group, 45 volunteers assist the same number of neighbours and more to remain living in their own homes and enjoy social activities.

For more information residents may contact Volunteers Support Officer, Steven Walker on 9978 4216.

To celebrate Neighbour Day, Council’s Aged and Disability Services will be holding two events:

  • A Neighbour Day lunch at the Community Restaurant on Tuesday 22 March at Mosman Seniors Centre, 12.30pm – 2.00pm. Clients of ADS are invited to bring a neighbour along. If the neighbour has not visited the restaurant before they will dine free of charge. On the day there will also be Goodie Bags for each guest and a short presentation on services available to residents. The cost for regulars is $10 and their neighbour can come in for free. Bookings are essential by phoning 9978 4128.
  • A Neighbour Day morning tea on Thursday 31 March, Seniors Centre Lounge, 10.00am – 12.00pm. This is to celebrate the unique relationship that is built between residents and their volunteer helper. This event is by invitation only.

For more information on Neighbour Day go to neighbourday.org and mosman.nsw.gov.au.