Neighbourhood chitchat: it starts with a friendly wave
Story supplied by Dale.
The second of three NDA stories - straight from kiwi neighbourhoods...
I have been involved with Neighbours Day from the start and for the last three years have organised an annual function for our street. For me it’s about doing something that is easy to organise and will get people together and talking. At our street party we eat together, drink together and talk. We hold the street party in the front of our house and if the weather is too bad we move inside.
I wouldn’t say there are barriers as such in our street that need breaking down, but I don’t think we talk with each other as much as we should. We drive in and out of our driveways without ever seeing or stopping to wave to anyone because we are all busy. I would at least like to know who is around me to be able to give them a friendly wave as I go by.
Since we started having a Neighbours Day function I definitely think people are more receptive to each other. People in our neighbourhood seem really pleased to see you when you approach them about the event and I hope this means that people are talking more between themselves.
I have learnt a lot since being involved with Neighbours Day and organising our street parties. Like I said, you don’t have to organise something big, it is about doing something easy to get people together. I have learned you must have a group of people driving the event and not just one person.
Next year I intend to connect with the people who have shown a real interest and host an event with them and encourage those people to connect with those neighbours close to them. I think you need to organise your event with a group of people and on the day have them door knock or phone all the neighbours to remind them that the street party - or whatever it is you have organised - is still on. I would want about half a dozen people on board to share the load. The best turnout I had was when I went to every house the morning of the party and reminded them about it.
I am very positive about the concept of Neighbours Day. I know more people are connecting around our neighbourhood as a result of our involvement in Neighbours Day. It is very important to have strong connections with your neighbourhood and there are a lot of benefits to come out of that. It should be about doing something more than just being friendly.
Thanks for sharing your NDA story Dale!