By Kimberley Cleland
Vicky from Auckland wanted to get to know her neighbours better. Through the neighbourhood kids, she got to know the parents and feels her neighbourhood is now a place where families feel safe and cared for.
All the kids in Stainton Place know each other and play together. But Vicky noticed that the parents didn’t know each other as well. This got her thinking about how she could change this and get the adults to connect too…
A pot luck dinner for Neighbours Day Aotearoa 2013 initially brought Stainton Place adults together. The pot luck was followed by a kid’s movie night, which Vicky thinks the adults secretly enjoyed. Vicky then invited the neighbourhood children to her daughter’s eighth birthday party and was surprised by what happened. Without prompting, some of Vicky’s neighbours had baked and made food for the party and turned up to help with party preparations.
“What we have learnt is how to reconnect and bond as neighbours should. None of us should feel alone. Rather than just wave from our cars we now pop over to talk with each other or send the “help” text if we need a cup of sugar. We know that if we need help, our neighbours are only a text or phone call away”.
Last May, Stainton Place participated in the pink ribbon fundraiser for Breast Cancer. They plan to have a fundraising event each year to support local charities. “What is really great is that we are reconnecting how neighbours used to, but it took being involved in Neighbours Day Aotearoa to realise we could do it for ourselves”.
Stainton Place has turned into a place where neighbours feel safe and care about each other. And thanks to the kids, the adults have found the time to connect as well. Vicky thinks if Stainton Place can do it, so can your street.