“Loneliness: the solution is community” is a particularly significant theme for Neighbourhood House Week 2020 this week, given the varying levels of social restrictions and lockdowns globally.
So, with people having to stay home, how can we connect with each other to maintain our sense of community? We hope the following might help.
It is great news that we can now welcome up to five friends or family members into our homes, or catch up outdoors in groups of up to 10, especially for those who have been missing their loved ones. However, please remember to maintain safe distancing and hygiene practices.
With the easing of some restrictions, some of our community’s most vulnerable people will still be isolated, so you might like to drop a note in their letterbox, offering assistance. Cire has created a simple form to offer your support.
Our Hubs team is proud to be part of the Community House network and help with the Outer East phone chat line. For anyone bored, isolated, lonely or just wanting someone new to talk to, we are here Monday – Friday 10.00am – 1.00pm and Monday – Thursday 5.00pm – 9.00pm or we can schedule callbacks outside of these times. To get in touch for a chat, give us a call on 1800 984 825.
For those on Facebook, or other social media platforms, there are many ways to keep in touch. Now, more than ever, we are using our Community Hubs Facebook page to share information and stay connected with locals. Social media is a great way to have everyday interactions with family and friends, but it’s also full of groups to join. If you have an interest, there’s sure to be a group of like-minded people. We’ve been enjoying our “Lock-Down Lego” challenges, as a way to create connections with those who enjoy building.
Another option to grow your digital community is the “Next Door” website. This platform helps people connect with their neighbours, posting information, as well as offers of goods, services or support. As always, remember the core cyber-safety principles, and never share your personal information online.
It has been exciting to see the ways that people have embraced using technology to engage with each other. I had heard of FaceTime and knew that Messenger (Facebook) had a video call option, but I would have never thought that words like “Zoom” and “WebEx” would become so familiar, or add-ons like Microsoft Teams and Google Meet would become life-lines connecting with my colleagues. One of my favourite COVID-19 responses is the way our “crafters” have adapted to catching up via Zoom, rather than their usual Wednesday morning tea at the Chirnside Park Community Hub. Chatting about current craft projects, grandchildren and offering mutual support is being done via video meeting, but the joy of connection is still very much alive.
Don’t forget our Hubs team is here for anyone needing some assistance in becoming familiar with using technology to connect to others. Just give us a call on 1300 835 235, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.