By Ruth Greenway
Waikato Place is more than just an address for Anne, it has become a community. Her neighbours get together every year and make sure to share contact details. They care for each other and live in harmony.
Waikato Place is more than just an address for Anne. It’s become a community; a place where young and old alike look out for one another, celebrate together and even support each other through the toughest of times. Anne and some of her immediate neighbours organised the street’s first Christmas party and, over the past five years, street parties have become an annual event. This year, they heard about Neighbours Day Aotearoa and had their street party during the weekend of 29-30 March 2014.
Before this year’s celebration one of Anne’s neighbours lost their wife to a long term illness. “The street gathered together”, says Anne, “to support our neighbour and friend”. “We pooled funds and got a wreath of flowers made to give our condolences from his closest neighbours”.
“We were touched when our neighbour arrived at the Neighbours Day gathering with the wreath. It was placed at the dining table and included in photos. It was a way to recognise the neighbour we had just lost”.
Anne is pleased to live in a quiet cul-de-sac and to have such supportive neighbours. It’s a community where she feels safe, cared for and valued. Anne is someone who definitely gives of her time to others. She and a neighbour manage the street address book and ensure that everyones details are regularly updated. They welcome new people to the street – some who may be renting and only there for a short while are always included. There are outside friends of this street and they too come to the annual party, as well as past residents who stay in touch.
Each year Anne creates a little book with photos and stories of the party to share with every household to keep as a memento (Anne pictured with her 2014 book). Anne says that the more people care for each other, the more likely neighbours are going to live in harmony.