Friendly neighbourhoods are a high priority for most people

LIVING in a neighbourhood that is "neighbourly" ranks high on most peoples' lists.

Most want to know their neighbours, feel comfortable to stop and have chat, to share things, to offer help and to ask for help when it's needed.

Surveys show that the wish to be part of a congenial neighbourhood holds true across the age range.

Gen Y 20-somethings are just as keen to feel connected to their neighbours as the retiring baby boomers. It is about feeling we belong somewhere, that we're part of a community.

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There are neighbourhoods where this sense of community is well developed and people living in them feel the richer for it.

Maureen Maher in Western Australia is an example.

She lives on a street which has, for many years, had a Christmas street party. She wanted to keep the momentum of connection going, so she asked a few people to join a street litter clean-up.

That worked well, so she did a letterbox drop suggesting a meeting where neighbours could consider what else they might do together.

That was a year ago. Since then they have had a progressive dinner, a progressive garden blitz (30 minutes in each other's gardens weeding, planting, etc) and a sponge cake bake-off.

Maureen was inspired and helped, by a national project Street By Street which provides resources, at no cost, to encourage, and assist, anyone interested about making their neighbourhood more neighbourly.

You can join the movement by going to http://www.streetbystreet.org, emailing auirene@streetbystreet.org.au or phoning 0413 706 233.



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