By Janelle Breese Biagioni
Finally! Spring is here and so is British Columbia’s Inaugural Neighbour Day! It’s a day to throw open your front door and get to know your neighbours.
Some families have already established good connections with their neighbours, while others may have taken a more private approach to living on the block. Neighbour Day is an opportunity for everyone to connect with one or two people on the street, or to get to know everyone. Why? Because there is tremendous value in connecting to the people living near you.
Statistics show that neighbourhoods are safer when the residents are aware of who should be there. Knowing who lives in what house (e.g. seniors, young family, or a person with a disability), neighbours actually help to keep them personally safe. For example, when you know a person and suddenly you realize they haven’t been seen for a few days, checking in on them could be a great benefit. Or if they have fallen or become ill, it could make all the difference if they have someone to call.
As important as safety, having fun in a neighbourhood and creating a welcoming space for everyone is essential to creating a thriving community. Relationships are crucial to our emotional and physical well-being, so building those connections close to home is a natural starting place.
Neighbour Day does not have to be a huge burden for anyone. Check out our suggestions for Themes and Activities in the toolkit. It’s all about getting out and meeting people. Plan a coffee party or a meet and greet on the street, a family fun day at a nearby park, or get a permit to close down your street and really rock the block with a BBQ and other activities. Anything goes ~ just have fun!