Neighbour Day 2020 had a direct effect on improving social capital and inclusion in neighbourhoods during the height of the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown.
Involvement with Neighbour Day 2020 in March improved peoples’ physical and mental health, according to an independent evaluation by the Australian National University.
The national Neighbour Day campaign, held annually on the last Sunday in March, supports people and organisations to participate via local events, including COVID-safe ideas for maintaining neighbourly connections.
Mr Nick Tebbey, National Executive Officer of Relationships Australia said Neighbour Day 2020 encouraged people to connect with neighbours amid the backdrop of COVID-19 restrictions.
“The Neighbour Day 2020 evaluation provided us with a unique insight into the effect of these restrictions on Australian’s relationships with their neighbours”, he said.
“A significant feature the day was a shift towards virtual and other forms of connection in lieu of traditional face-to-face contact.
“Overall, people said that their involvement in Neighbour Day 2020 helped them create stronger communities”.
At the conclusion of Neighbour Day 2020, 91% of respondents said they planned to have ongoing contact with their neighbours. This illustrates how new connections formed during Neighbour Day 2020 will help foster stronger relationships among neighbours well beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
To capture the generous spirit of Neighbour Day, Relationships Australia has launched a nationwide video competition to inspire social connection and creativity, reduce loneliness and increase community well-being. The competition runs from 1 to 28 October 2020 and you can enter at www.neighbourday.org.