The organisation is inviting people across Australia to submit a 250-word story about an elderly neighbour, with the chance of winning a cash prize. This writing competition follows the success of Neighbour Day, which was held on the last Sunday in March and had a theme of The importance of social connection for the elderly.
Neighbour Day encourages neighbours across the country and from all walks of life to get connected by events such as morning teas, backyard barbecues, street parties and community gatherings – all in the name of getting to know the people who live nearby. The day acts as a tool and useful reminder for people to connect with neighbours.
Organisers say good relationships with neighbours can change communities and have a positive effect on people’s wellbeing. They highlight loneliness and social isolation, issues faced by older people, can be countered by good social connection and a sense of belonging.
This year, more than 500 events took place in neighbourhoods across Australia, and the theme saw people hosting afternoon teas at their local aged care facilities, sharing a cup of tea and baked goods with their neighbours, while others extended the hand of friendship by offering to bring the bins or mail in.
“What was wonderful to see this year was people of all ages taking on the theme of social connection for older people in our communities,” says Alison Brook, National Executive Officer for Relationships Australia. “The stories that we are hearing not only from Neighbour Day, but of every day interactions, demonstrate that people truly care about the wellbeing of those around them, especially the elderly and vulnerable.”
The Tell Us Your Story writing competition should reflect the spirit and purpose of Neighbour Day, in promoting well-connected and resilient communities in neighbourhoods across Australia.
Entries could include stories about a friendship with an elderly neighbour, children connecting with elderly neighbours, or how you reached out to an elderly neighbour on Neighbour Day.
There is a prize-pool of more than $1000 and closing date for entries is 5pm, Monday 17 April 2017.